Agreement with iwi a milestone for local government

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is hailing the first Mana Whakahono ā Rohe or Iwi Participation Arrangement, between the West Coast Regional Council and Poutini Ngāi Tahu, as a milestone for local government that will empower local kaitiaki.

Mana Whakahono ā Rohe are a tool designed to assist tangata whenua and local authorities to discuss, agree and record how they will work together under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

“Tangata whenua and local government need to have close relationships, and this first Mana Whakahono ā Rohe helps build these,” said LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.

“It provides a stronger pathway for Iwi involvement in RMA processes, tailored to local needs, so it’s a real milestone in formalising co-governance arrangements.”

“This is a great example of Iwi and council partnership.  We understand more agreements are being progressed and look forward to these being finalised.”

Bonita Bigham, Chair LGNZ’s Māori Advisory Committee Te Maruata, praised the agreement as a step in the right direction for councils and Iwi.

“The legislation enabling these agreements has been in place for more than three years, so it is heartening to see that we are now starting to overcome historic challenges in forging more effective relationships between councils and iwi in the RMA space.”

“This is a significant achievement and I congratulate the West Coast Regional Council and Ngāi Tahu for setting an example for other councils to follow.

“By affirming their commitment to work together they will achieve greater things for all those who live in their rohe and prove that there are only gains to be made from genuine partnerships like these.”