5.0 Further Discussion
5.1 Iwi and regional representatives
A workshop was held on 25 March 2008 and attended by two iwi representatives and a representative from each regional council. The workshop provided an opportunity to look at preliminary results of the literature review and seek feedback on further areas to investigate best practice tools and methods for improving Māori participation in fresh water.
The workshop involved a wide and broad-ranging discussion regarding barriers to effective Māori participation in freshwater management. Barriers identified by participants included:
- lack of capacity amongst iwi/hapū working at all levels eg, governance, management and operations
- councils balancing the views of all stakeholders and by doing so watering down expectations of iwi
- rights as owners are stronger than rights as kaitiaki
- there are two world views that are in conflict
- unrealistic expectations by Māori with regard to RMA’s section 33 transfers of powers due to the high level of risk and liability for Māori, and their lack of capacity
- difficulties experienced by iwi in having Māori rights acknowledged and recognised, due to limited capacity to participate in RMA processes
- freshwater projects signalled in RPSs and RPs not being funded through LTCCPs
- maintaining positive working relationships between iwi and councils.
Tools identified to improve participation in freshwater management were elusive, however, those identified included:
- the use of bylaws to provide specific recognition of Māori rights ‘on the ground’
- specific Māori community outcomes included as part of the LTCCP development process
- engagement with Māori in catchment plan development and implementation have positive and practical outcomes
- potential for joint management arrangements under Section 36B of the RMA
- freshwater wānanga like those held by Ngāi Tahu
- increasing the number of, use of and skills of Māori commissioners
- improving the understandings and awareness of non-Māori commissioners
- considering secondments of iwi practitioners into regional councils, as well as, council staff into iwi authorities to gain insight, increase capability and share values
- inclusion in RPs of specific, measurable and relevant Māori environmental outcomes.
5.2 Comments from Māori advisors, officials and professionals
Workshops on 31 July 2008 and 22 August 2008 were held to provide comments on the draft report. These comments were grouped into similar areas and provided below.
- Local government expectations of engagement with iwi rise exponentially when iwi raise their capacity eg, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
- Pre-settlement tribes have limited capacity to participate in RMA processes.
- Can local government improve capacity of both themselves and iwi?
- Iwi will need skilled people and resources to effectively participate in RMA procedures.
- Regional councils have much more resource and capacity than district councils.
- Local Government Act still applies to post-settlement entities regardless of their capacity.
- Difficult to articulate statutory acknowledgements during Treaty settlement negotiations because of the speed and complexity of the negotiations process.
- Links between the planning tools is not good.
- RMA may not be able to deliver the desired outcomes to Māori because it does not look at the whole.
- RPSs and RPs based on ‘keeping the line’ ie, do not provide opportunities for enhancement of degraded environments.
- There is a disconnection between community outcomes and budgets/actions in LTCCP.
- Provide for water permits for cultural purposes that are not reliant on land ownership (eg, in stream use).
- In Tasman district, iwi have the first right of access to water reservoirs.
- Some iwi don’t have a settlement process available to them so do not have access to statutory acknowledgements and other co-management/ownership mechanisms.
- Education resources prepared by iwi authorities that will provide credibility and longevity to iwi perspectives on resource management.
- The influences of political views on Māori involvement are very strong.
- Should not require a Treaty outcome to effectively participate in RMA processes.
- Document the journey of settlement and co-management.
- Guidelines for articulating cultural values in scientific terms.
- Provision of checklists for planners to recognise Māori cultural values.
- Articulate what pre- and post-settlement entities are within the region/district.
- Look into the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) review of environmental performance for international comparative analysis.
- Work with the Ministry for the Environment in scoping best practice management practices (story of the journey).
- Māori access to water for commercial and social needs is important.
- Each region has a diversity of water resources. In some areas, there are obvious large water bodies that form the focus of freshwater management activities eg, Taupo, Waikato River, Rotorua and Canterbury lakes. However, in some areas there is a diversity of water resources such as groundwater in Nelson, and rivers, streams and wetlands in South Waikato.