This report has been commissioned by the Ministry to document the tools being used to support Maori participation in freshwater management under the Resource Management Act 1991 and to suggest areas that could be further investigated. It is primarily a literature review of regional policy statements, regional plans and some long-term council community plans prepared by regional councils and unitary authorities in New Zealand.
This report has been commissioned by the Ministry for the Environment. Its purpose is to document the tools being used to support Māori participation in the management of fresh water under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and suggest areas that could be further investigated.
This work is primarily a literature review of regional policy statements, regional plans and some long-term council community plans prepared by regional councils and unitary authorities in New Zealand. Supporting this work is a review of a number of iwi management plans prepared by iwi authorities along with 15 interviews of iwi representatives and regional council staff. There is already a large body of literature on the subject of Māori participation in resource management.
This review has found that all regional policy statements and regional plans (affecting fresh water) identify and describe relationships between Māori and freshwater resources, issues of concern to Māori and that they use a broad range of methods. There are some regional policy statements and regional plans that stand out, these being reflective of high levels of input from iwi authorities, particularly those who are post-settlement governance entities.
Iwi management plans reviewed have a strong focus on freshwater resources, relationships with statutory agencies, education and recognition of cultural values. The stand-out plans were often produced by post-settlement iwi authorities and were comprehensive, articulate, professional and reflective of higher levels of capacity and capability.
Of the long-term council community plans reviewed, all had statements regarding building the capacity of Māori, these being general statements rather than specifically related to fresh water. The development of community outcomes that articulate Māori outcomes appears to be a potentially important tool for influencing local government processes and plan development.
Māori participation in freshwater management can be improved by building capacity and capability of Māori along with support by the increasing use of statutory acknowledgements following Treaty settlements, monitoring effectiveness of regional plans and regional policy statements, education of councils, iwi and the community, improvements in iwi planning documents, and the robust and reliable indicators for measuring Māori values and relationships.
This report suggests options for central government, local government and Māori to work towards improving Māori participation in freshwater management. These are summarised under key areas below.
Education and training
Articulating outcomes and indicators
Access to information