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Partnering with Ngāi Tahu

Last updated: 15 May 2023
Reporting frequency: Quarterly
Portfolio: Regional and strategic leadership

We are strengthening and building on our Tuia relationship with the ten Papatipu Rūnanga of Canterbury.

We have the Tuia Relationship Agreement with ngā Papatipu Rūnanga and a Tuia programme of work, which is about working together, shoulder to shoulder, across all of our activity to achieve better outcomes for everyone. It’s about relationships, mutual respect, shared understanding and shared values.

Working in partnership in this way means that we can create a sustainable environment for current and future generations – together.

Our shared vision is based on recognising the relationship between Ngāi Tahu, their ancestral land, and the fact it is inextricably affected by the work we do at Environment Canterbury. 

Te Rōpū Tuia is the governance forum that anchors the collective relationship, with membership consisting of the Chairs of ngā Papatipu Rūnanga (or their nominees) and all of the Environment Canterbury Councillors. Its purpose is to build a shared understanding, deepen and lead the collaborative relationship, and provide coordinated leadership.

Te Paiherenga is a technical working group, with representatives from ngā Papatipu Rūnanga and Council staff, and provides advice and feedback on policies, proposals and projects, and a forum for information sharing.

Ngāi Tahu representation on Canterbury Regional Council  

The Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Act empowers Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to appoint up to two members of the Environment Canterbury Council with full decision-making powers.

Having mana whenua at the table to contribute to decisions with their local knowledge of the taiao (environment) of Waitaha Canterbury will continue the progress toward better environmental outcomes.    

As well as acknowledging the wealth of knowledge mana whenua have to offer, the appointment of two Ngāi Tahu councillors with voting rights recognises the role Ngāi Tahu have as kaitiaki (guardians) and their right to rangatiratanga (self-determination) within Canterbury Waitaha. 

Developing an integrated regulatory framework in partnership with Papatipu Rūnanga 

We are continuing to progress the development of an integrated planning framework in partnership with Ngāi Tahu, taking a ki uta ki tai (mountains to sea) approach and involving the review of Canterbury’s Regional Policy Statement, Regional Coastal Environment Plan and Land and Water Regional Plan.

How are we tracking on our Levels of Service?

Level of service 31: Work in partnership with Ngāi Tahu toward outcomes that are in the iwi, hapū and regional interest.

As part of this level of service we will:

  • 31.1 Participate in governance and management forums (Te Rōpū Tuia and Te Paiherenga, annual Councillor marae visits)
  • 31.2 Demonstrate commitment to investigating new co-governance/co-management arrangements

How did we do: We hold regular hui for the ten Papatipu Rūnanga across Waitaha, including Te Rōpū Tuia and Te Paiherenga. In 2022/23, we held additional hui with some Papatipu Rūnanga and hui on specific kaupapa, eg gravel management, fish screens. Environment Canterbury is working with Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, Timaru District Council and the Department of Conservation on a joint management approach to restore the health of Waitarakao Washdyke Lagoon. A strategy is being developed, guided by both a Working Group and Steering Group, made up of key staff and representatives from partner organisations.


How are we doing on our key initiatives?

Strengthening our relationship with Papatipu Rūnunga

How are we doing: Our relationship is strong and, in 2023, we have held more frequent hui between our Council and the Chairs of ngā Papatipu Rūnanga. Establishment of joint systems and processes to support Te Rōpū Tuia is ongoing. We have also increased the frequency of mana to mana communications to improve transparency across the relationship.

On track

Recent highlights and updates

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