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Iwi environmental management plan wins award

Friday, 1 May 2015 10:00 a.m.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council-supported Tapuika Environmental Management Plan won an award at the New Zealand Planning Institute’s annual conference earlier this month.

The plan was judged the best project from four major category winners.

Elva Conroy of Conroy and Donald Consultants, who co-authored the plan with colleague Malcolm Donald, says having the Tapuika plan recognised for a best practice national planning award highlights all the hard work that went into producing the document.

“It was a journey that involved whanau from the start, by discussing their issues and aspirations via hui and online survey. It enables Tapuika to voice how natural resources should be managed. Moving forward, it will be an essential document for Tapuika and for councils in the region,” she says.

Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor and Komiti Māori chair Awanui Black, who attended the awards event to support iwi and the council, says the new generation of hapū/iwi plans are culturally rich and help inform our decision-making processes. “We formally receive these plans at Komiti Māori so that they are respectfully acknowledged and given the mana they are due.”

The Tapuika Environmental Management Plan (2014-2024) sets out the tribal goals and expectations relating to the natural environment, from Wairakei Stream (Papamoa) east to Little Waihi and inland to Kaharoa. It defines Tapuika’s values and interests, priority issues, opportunities, outcomes and actions, how councils and other agencies should be working with the iwi, and the outcomes of the Tapuika Claims Settlement Act 2014.

“As an iwi, we believe that this plan will help determine our future with regards to our relationship with the environment, culturally and socially,” says Tapuika Development Trust chair Dean Flavell. “We believe this document is so important, not only for us now but for future generations.”

The action-orientated plan reflects the outcomes of the Tapuika Claims Settlement Act 2014 and incorporates the collective voice of its members around the world, using social media, an online survey and marae-based workshops. A key focus is ensuring Tapuika members are actively involved and empowered to take part in resource management processes.

The plan is underpinned by 10 priority issues and 44 actions for the next 10 years, so effort and resources can be focused to ensure it makes a difference. It includes an atlas comprising rohe-based analysis (Maori land and land use capability) and aerial maps of Tapuika reserves, forest blocks and marae).

Conroy and Donald Consultants prepared the Tapuika Environmental Management Plan on behalf of the Tapuika Iwi Authority. It was funded by the Bay of Plenty Regional, Rotorua Lakes, Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City Councils.

Tapuika is based in Te Puke area of the Bay of Plenty. 

Iwi environmental management plan wins award