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Home > Latest News > Media Releases > Media Releases 2012 > May 2012 > Council and iwi to share governance of Rangitaiki River

Council and iwi to share governance of Rangitaiki River

Thursday, 31 May 2012 1:30 p.m.

After decades of Treaty settlement discussions, a new group overseeing the Bay of Plenty's Rangitāiki River and its catchments has been formed.

The establishment of the Rangitāiki River Forum (a new group comprising 50 percent iwi and 50 percent council members) is a milestone which signifies a new relationship between council and iwi who, through this forum, now share the responsibility of managing and protecting this river.

The Rangitāiki River Forum - the first Treaty settlement in the Bay of Plenty to involve co-governance of a river - has been established through Treaty settlements for Ngāti Manawa and Ngāti Whare (based around Murupara, Galatea and Te Whaiti, and whose traditional tribal areas include the middle and upper reaches of the Rangitāiki River). 

Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa are also members on this forum as they also have relationships along the reaches of the Rangitāiki River.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare Chairman Bronco Carson was appointed Chair of the Forum at the group's inaugural meeting in Whakatāne this week.

Mr Carson, a Murupara-based shearer who was born and bred in Minginui, has an extensive background working within the environment of Treaty settlements in the region, including many years on the Ngāti Whare Claims Committee.

Mr Carson says the Forum brings iwi to the decision-making table for the management of the Rangitāiki River - a taonga for iwi.

"This forum is important because it gives iwi active participation in the decisions that are made over the river. The forum's main focus is working together with the underlying goal of looking after the health and wellbeing of the river and its catchments."

The Forum will create a document to oversee the protection of the river and its catchments, the Rangitāiki River Document, which is expected to be completed in 2013.


Members of the Rangitāiki River Forum:

Iwi members include:
Ngāti Whare: Bronco Carson (Chair)
Ngati Manawa - TBA
Ngāti Awa - TBA
Ngāti Tūwharetoa - Reverend Graham Kahu Te Rire

Council members include:
Whakatane District Council: Mayor Tony Bonne
Bay of Plenty Regional Council: Councillor Tipene Marr (Māori Constituency Councillor), Councillor Malcolm Whitaker, Councillor Jim Mansell

Background information:

• The Rangitāiki River Forum is a joint committee of Council which has been established under the Ngāti Manawa Claims Settlement Act 2012 and the Ngāti Whare Claims Settlement Act 2012. 

• On 5 April 2012, the Ngāti Manawa and Ngāti Whare Claims Settlement Acts 2012 were enacted.  The Acts establish co-governance over the Rangitāiki River and its catchments including:

a) The Rangitaiki River,
b) The Whirinaki River,
c) The Wheao River, and
d) The Horomanga River.

• The purpose of the Forum is the protection and enhancement of the environmental, cultural and spiritual health and wellbeing of the Rangitāiki River and its resources for the benefit of present and future generations. The settlement date for Ngāti Manawa and Ngāti Whare was 8 May, 2012.

• The legislation provides for representation on the Forum by Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Whare, Ngāti Tūwharetoa (BOP) and Ngāti Awa (as well as three members from Regional Council and one from the Whakatāne District Council).

Holiday fishing on the Rangitaiki River highres