In addition to the site – and species-specific management roles outlined above, the Crown’s Settlement Offer also provided for a number of more general input mechanisms:
As well as the advisor roles in relation to Fisheries and Taonga Species discussed above, the Crown’s Settlement Offer provided for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to be recognised as an advisor to the Minister of Conservation in relation to all of the DoC administered sites on the Tōpuni and SA/DoR lists.
This role complements the ability Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu already has to make input into DoC’s operational activities, at Departmental level and through Conservation Boards and the New Zealand Conservation Authority.
The Crown’s Settlement Offer gave Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu the right to nominate persons to dedicated seats on the following statutory bodies:
- New Zealand Conservation Authority.
- Two seats on each Conservation Board wholly within the Ngāi Tahu Takiwā.
- One seat on each of the Northern South Island Conservation Boards (partly within the Ngāi Tahu Takiwā).
- New Zealand Geographic Board.
- Guardians of Lakes Manapōuri, Monowai and Te Anau.
- Guardians of Lake Wanaka.
As mentioned above, the Minister of Conservation also recommended that each Fish and Game Council in the rohe co-opt one Ngāi Tahu nominated member.
As well as recognising the mana of Ngāi Tahu, the Dedicated Memberships require these bodies to acknowledge and address Ngāi Tahu values and concerns.
Department of Conservation Protocols
The Crown’s Settlement Offer included a set of ‘Protocols’ that has been developed, setting out ways in which the Department of Conservation exercises its powers, duties and functions in relation to:
- Cultural materials.
- Freshwater fisheries.
- The culling of species of interest to Ngāi Tahu.
- Historic resources.
- Resource Management Act involvement.
- Visitor and public information.
These Protocols, which are enforceable against DoC, make general statements about how the Department should conduct its business in these areas. The Protocols also establish a unique process whereby Ngāi Tahu can have input into the Department’s budget – and priority-setting processes, and identify specific projects to be pursued, subject to available funding.
Resource Management Act Implementation
The RMA is the primary statutory tool in environmental management and these provisions will assist Ngāi Tahu in ensuring that it delivers on its potential in relation to Māori values.
The Crown’s Settlement Offer provided for the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) to work with Ngāi Tahu to review and improve the implementation of the Resource Management Act (RMA), with particular reference to the Treaty and Māori provisions of the Act. MfE?s future work programmes will include items that seek to influence the performance of local and regional government in the long term.
A joint MfE/Ngāi Tahu project will investigate how Treaty of Waitangi obligations and responsibilities under the RMA are working in practice. The terms of reference will be agreed after consultation with local government. As part of this project, MfE will also develop a case study which, for example, might focus, on the implementation of the water management provisions of the RMA.
MfE will carry out a survey – developed in consultation with Ngāi Tahu – to determine how councils are dealing with Iwi Management Plans and will undertake to visit councils at least annually to discuss their performance on the Treaty provisions of the RMA. The Ministry will also work, in consultation with Ngai Tahu, towards developing a set of Māori values indicators as part of the National Environmental Indicators Project.
The RMA is the primary statutory tool in environmental management and these provisions assist Ngai Tahu in ensuring that it delivers on its potential in relation to Maori values.
Heritage Protection Review
The Crown’s Settlement Offer guarantees Ngāi Tahu full involvement in the upcoming review of heritage protection legislation and agencies. The review will cover the Historic Places Act (HPA), the Resource Management Act (RMA) and other relevant laws and institutions involved in protecting historical and cultural heritage, including archaeological, historic and wāhi tapu sites.
Ngāi Tahu will join a group of experienced and knowledgeable stakeholders to provide recommendations direct to the Minister on a range of matters.
Matters to be dealt with in the review include:
- Statutory roles, powers and functions.
- Criteria for setting priorities for protection and conservation.
- Funding options for preservation and conservation.
- Provision for public consultation and involvement.
- The relationship between HPA and RMA processes
- The role and function of iwi.
- A guaranteed role for Ngāi Tahu at this early stage of policy development on future heritage management provides a unique opportunity to advocate for a regime which recognises Ngāi Tahu mana over its wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga.
“The Protocols were intended to help build a relationship between DoC and Ngāi Tahu that achieves conservation policies, actions and outcomes sought by both Ngāi Tahu and DoC. Ngāi Tahu and DoC have similar objectives in environmental and conservation management – protecting and enhancing what’s special about New Zealand for future generations.”
(DoC, September 1997)