Nohoanga provides all Ngāi Tahu with an opportunity to experience the landscape as their tipuna did, and to rekindle the traditional practices of gathering food and other natural resources.
The term ‘nohoanga’ (literally meaning a place to sit) traditionally refers to the seasonal occupation sites which were an integral part of the mobile lifestyle of Ngāi Tahu Whānui as they moved around Te Waipounamu (the South Island) in pursuit of food and other natural resources.
This traditional concept has been given contemporary effect as a result of the Settlement of the Ngāi Tahu Claim through the allocation of specific ‘camping’ sites to support mahinga kai activities.
Under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998, nohoanga sites are specific areas of Crown owned land adjacent to lakeshores or riverbanks, which can be used to facilitate the gathering of food and other natural resources by Ngāi Tahu Whānui. They are usually one hectare in size.
Ngāi Tahu Whānui (tribal members) have temporary, but exclusive rights to occupy these sites for up to 210 days a year between the middle of August and the end of April each year.
There are 72 allocated nohoanga sites within Te Wai Pounamu (the South Island). Not all of these sites are available for use. Please contact 0800 NOHOANGA (0800 664-62642) or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 nohoanga:
If the Crown alienates land on which there is a nohoanga, or the area becomes unusable – for example due to a river changing course – the Crown will take reasonable steps to provide a replacement site.
Nohoanga provide all Ngāi Tahu with an opportunity to experience the landscape as their tipuna did, and to rekindle the traditional practices of gathering food and other natural resources, so long an essential part of Ngāi Tahu culture.
Nohoanga are for the exclusive use of Ngāi Tahu Whānui. For fairness and environmental reasons, the use of nohoanga sites is by authorisation only, and administered by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, see below for procedure for authorisation.
Nohoanga users will be required to post a return back to Te Rūnanga following their departure from the site recording any problems or issues experienced during their visit.
Failure to post a return or use of the site in an inappropriate manner may disqualify a person from future use of nohoanga sites.
Procedure for Authorisation to use nohoanga
In some cases, toilet facilities are available on site. Please note that nohoanga users do not have an automatic right to use nearby toilet facilities. Ngāi Tahu Whānui will only be able to have continued use of facilities if each person uses them in a responsible manner and is considerate of other people who are using those facilities.
On sites where toilets are not available, portable toilets will need to be taken to these sites by the holder of the authorisation, and emptied at approved dumping stations after use. These are not expensive to hire and can usually be hired en-route to the nohoanga site.
Wastewater Disposal (non-toilet water)
Wastewater includes water used for cooking, washing, and dishes. Where possible, people are urged to keep the quantity of wastewater they use to an absolute minimum and dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner. As a general practice:
It is important to leave nohoanga sites in the best possible condition for other Ngāi Tahu users. As a guide:
See the relevant site information sheet for details of refuse stations or rubbish disposal facilities provided. Please note that for other sites, nohoanga users do not have an automatic right to use rubbish disposal facilities.
Camping Shelters (tents, caravans etc)
Nohoanga site users will need to organise their own camping shelters (tents, caravans, bivouacs, or campervans). For some sites, physical characteristics may limit options (eg poor caravan access), so please check the relevant site information sheets for details. Buildings, structures or tents over 30 square metres in size cannot be erected on nohoanga sites.
It is strongly recommended that nohoanga site users provide their own water supplies where this is not available on site (see the relevant site information sheet for details).
If nohoanga site users are drinking from rivers or lakes, we recommend that either of the following precautions be taken:
Fires and Cooking
Nohoanga site users must comply with fire restrictions relevant to the area, details of which can be found in the relevant site information sheet. Fire permits are required for most sites. For cooking, safe methods such as gas fires or cookers are recommended.
Vehicle Access and Parking
Most sites have two wheel drive vehicle access onto or at least within close vicinity to the site. Some nohoanga sites, however, only have foot access. Where possible, nohoanga site users should park their vehicles on the nohoanga site. Otherwise people should ensure that vehicles are parked in a safe place and do not inconvenience other people. Please refer to the relevant site information sheet for details.
Pets, Animals and Stock
Pets are not permitted on some nohoanga sites and special conditions may apply to other sites. For details, please refer to the relevant site information sheet. On sites where pets are permitted, owners need to ensure that:
Site users should take care not to disturb stock. Leave gates as you find them. If in doubt shut the gate to stop stock wandering.