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Iwi interests and the RMA: An evaluation of the quality of first generation council plans

This working paper analyses the processes adopted by councils for involving hapū /iwi in plan implementation, including the resource consents process. Three topic issues were investigated to assess plan implementation — urban amenity, storm water, and issues of importance to iwi. Questions were asked about the capacity of hapū/iwi to engage in the resource consent process, which resource issues were of concern to them, their relationship with council and consent applicants, and their perception of the consent process. Most resources listed in the questionnaire were of concern to hapū/iwi, with water quality, wāhi tapu and heritage the most commonly cited. In conclusion, we found a general dissatisfaction on the part of hapū/iwi with councils’ performance with respect to both Treaty relationships and consent processing under the RMA. A further contributing factor to the poor relationships found between hapū/iwi and councils, was the lack of clarity over the role of hapū and iwi in resource management. In several districts, diverging responses from hapū/iwi and councils to questions about level of understanding and commitment suggests there is a need for more effective communication. These problems are compounded by the generally low capacity of hapū/iwi to participate in resource consent processes. These findings suggest that there is much to be done to improve relationships and behaviour of these key stakeholder groups in the plan implementation process if key provisions in the RMA related to hapū/iwi interests are to be fulfilled. The differences shown in reciprocal perceptions have serious implications for establishing a sound working partnership between councils and hapū/iwi in their areas. Making clear these discrepancies is a first step towards taking the measures needed for building a better partnership. Further, the capacity of hapū/iwi to participate could be better utilised if there was greater integration between regional and district councils on issues of significance and processes for iwi involvement.
Working Paper
Type of thesis
Jefferies, R., Warren. T., Berke, P., Chapman, S., Crawford, J., Ericksen, N. & Mason, G. (2002). Iwi interests and the RMA: An evaluation of the quality of first generation council plans. PUCM Maori Working Paper No.1. Hamilton, New Zealand: Kōkōmuka Consultancy Ltd.; The International Global Change Institute (IGCI), University of Waikato.
The International Global Change Institute