Joint release between Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Te Rūnanga) and Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation (NTHC) have agreed with Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated (Ngāti Kahungunu) that environmental, cultural and economic factors will determine if there will be any further financial commitment to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in the Hawke’s Bay.

Representatives of Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Rūnanga and  NTHC met in Christchurch and reaffirmed the relationship between the two iwi was the important poutokomanawa (foundation) in identifying and progressing future opportunities both between the iwi and within each other’s rohe.

Te Rūnanga and NTHC are aware that the Makaroro, Waipawa and Tukituki rivers are the social, cultural and economic backbone of Ngāti Kahungunu and the community. Ngāi Tahu is committed to providing resources and support to Ngāti Kahungunu, as well as seeking it’s own assurances, to ensure that the environmental and cultural baselines of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme are of the highest standards and meet the objectives of Ngāti Kahungunu and the community.

Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Tā Mark Solomon says, “Te Rūnanga needs to know if the project stacks up from the perspective of tangata whenua as well as meeting EPA criteria.

“We respect and understand the role of Ngāti Kahungunu and hence the stance they have taken. Quite rightly they want to ensure the environmental impacts of the project are properly assessed. If further analysis is required, we support that and we are keen to see that this occurs.”

The Chief Executive for NTHC, Mike Sang says, “NTHC wants to be confident its potential new investment aligns with the values of all the parties.

“We see infrastructure projects as core investments but they do have to be environmentally sustainable and in line with intergenerational aspirations.”

Ngāti Kahungunu Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana says, “Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu have a relationship that has stood for over 1000 years. The Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme is another opportunity for our iwi to support the cultural and economic development of each other.

“We acknowledge and appreciate that Ngāi Tahu are committed to working with Ngāti Kahungunu to ensure that infrastructural developments and investment opportunities within our rohe proceed in a manner that ensures that the voice of iwi is paramount.”

ENDS 

Questions and Answers

What exactly is NTHC’s involvement with the project?

Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation Limited (NTHC), along with TrustPower, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Limited (HBRIC Ltd) to potentially invest in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in Hawke’s Bay.

At what point is the project in the approvals process?

The Hawkes Bay Regional Council and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (owned by the Regional Council) have applied for 17 Resource Consents and amendments to the Plan Change that effect water quality standards. The Application is currently before a Board of Inquiry with the Environmental Protection Authority, with hearings due to begin on November 18.

Why is Ngāi Tahu engaged with Ngāti Kahungunu?

Ngāti Kahungunu are the third largest iwi in New Zealand and the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme is directly within the Ngāti Kahungunu rohe. Ngāi Tahu considers that responsible investment outside of the Ngāi Tahu rohe includes iwi-ki-te-iwi engagement to ensure that the mana of the iwi within the proposed investment region is upheld and maintained.

 What is the position in relation to hapū with interests in the catchment?

Several Ngāti Kahungunu hapū have interests within the area affected by the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.  Ngāti Kahungunu support the rangatiratanga of their hapū to engage in commercial, cultural and social initiatives that enhance their mana and improve their health and wellbeing. Both iwi agree like in many projects of this nature there are wide implications to consider, including both the immediate and long-term environmental, economic and cultural implications for hapū throughout the catchment.

Why is NTHC considering investing outside of the Ngāi Tahu rohe?

NTHC is tasked with diversifying its portfolio of investments and will look at investments outside Te Waipounamu when they stack up commercially and meet with Ngāi Tahu intergenerational values. As NTHC investments grow in scale it is continuing to look broadly for good opportunities but these must meet strict criteria including values-based criteria.

What is the final shape of the NTHC investment likely to be if it does in fact go ahead?

Ngāi Tahu and TrustPower have signalled that they potentially will invest up to 30-40% of the initial capital cost.

What resources and support is NTHC going to commit to NKII?

Te Rūnanga and NTHC will provide strategic and governance support to Ngāti Kahungunu in relation to the Scheme. Te Rūnanga and NTHC will also provide support that will ensure that the cultural and environmental standards and effects of the Scheme will be overseen by NKII, Te Rūnanga and relevant members of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme if the resource consents are granted.

 

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