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Treaty Obligations

Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council Treaty Obligations

The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document. Over 500 Mäori chiefs and representatives of the British Crown signed the Treaty in 1840. Like all treaties it is an exchange of promises; the promises that were exchanged in 1840 were the basis on which the British Crown acquired New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi agreed the terms on which New Zealand would become a British colony.

Because there are different versions of the Treaty (English and Māori) over time it became the subject of much debate. 

The Treaty of Waitangi provides for the exercise of kawanatanga (authority), while actively protecting tino rangatiratanga (self-determination) of tangata whenua in respect of their natural, physical and spiritual resources. Everyone acting under the Resource Management Act (RMA), including resource consent applicants and  council staff, must take into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (s8). Similar obligations are imposed on councils under the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA).

Statutory obligations and case law developed under the RMA have helped translate how the Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi must be given effect to in practice. Te Puni Kokiri has produced a guide to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, as interpreted by the Waitangi Tribunal and the Courts. 

The Environment Court has said that consultation, or the need to consult, arises from the Treaty principle of partnership. This requires the partners to act reasonably and to make informed decision.


The following sets out some of the Treaty principles most commonly applied in our work:

Active Protection

To actively protect that which is important to Maori. This may include their rights (including citizenship), property, treasures, special places, culture, language or other.


  • Supporting the development of Iwi Management Plans
  • Implement the Heritage Critera in the RPS
  • Development of Cultural Heritage Strategy for SmartGrowth
  • Enabling co-management initiatives
  • Acknowledgement and implementation to Te Reo Māori on our work
  • Adoption of the Māori flag
  • Development of a regional marae locations map

Tribal Autonomy

Guarantees Maori the right to manage, control and enjoy their own resources and toanga in accordance with their cultural preferences


  • Māori committee promotes community participation
  • Development of policies that recognise kaitiakitanga
  • Māori councillors represent Māori interests in council decision-making processes
  • Joint decision-making through co-governance regimes
  • Cultural monitoring initiatives

Redress for past breaches

To address past actions or omissions of the Crown that lead to harmful effect on Māori.


  • Supporting iwi that are in the process settling Treaty claims
  • Supporting Māori political representation  
  • Sponsoring Māori to undertake RMA training
  • Sponsoring initiatives to enhance Māori capacity and capability
  • Engaging summer students
  • Enabling iwi secondment initiatives

Duty to consult   

Ensuring Māori are consulted with on matters of importance to them


  • Engagement with Māori in plan changes/reviews
  • Engagement with Māori on Resource Consent applications
  • Taking IMPs into account in our decision-making
  • Maintaining and accurate Māori Contacts Directory
  • Holding marae based Māori Committee meetings
  • Involving Māori in working parties, focus groups, reviews and audits 

Here at Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council, we are committed to meeting our responsibilities under te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi and our broader statutory obligations to Māori. We also recognises these responsibilities are distinct from the Crown’s Treaty obligations and fall within a local government/Bay of Plenty context. Toi Moana will work to ensure our policies and actions consider the protection and recognition of Māori rights and interests within the Bay of Plenty.  We will also continue to assess how best to address and contribute to the needs and aspirations of Māori.

In responding to this commitment, our Māori Policy team is focused on enhancing and guiding the Council’s commitment to Māori. The team works to ensure the integration of Māori responsiveness goals as part of council’s decision-making processes, policy thinking, capability building and provision of services. Māori Policy also assists Council to ensure it is a good employer for Māori.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council treaty obligation documents

2013 - Signed Integrated Planning Protocol between Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua & BOPRC HBRC Whakatane DC Wairoa DC (6.14MB, pdf)

2013 - Signed Relationship Protocol between Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua & Bay of Plenty Regional Council (1.53MB, pdf)

View the Statutory Acknowledgement Page

View the Co-Governance Page

Please contact the Strategic Engagement Coordinator for further information regarding our services and policies on 0800 884 880, or at