The new Kaituna River Document has been launched and celebrated by Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority today.
Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority Chairman Dean Flavell said that the Kaituna River and its tributaries are considered taonga (treasures) by both iwi and the community and are valued resources for the Bay of Plenty.
“Many people and organisations are investing a significant amount of time, effort and money over the coming 10 years to help care for the land, water and wildlife in the Kaituna catchment and Maketū Estuary.
“This document will guide local government, iwi and the wider community in their work together to protect and preserve the Kaituna River and its tributaries. It represents a culmination of input from the Kaituna community,” Mr Flavell said.
The document, Kaituna, he taonga tuku iho - a treasure handed down, is an outcome of the Tapuika Claims Settlement Act 2014.
It sets out an iwi and community vision, objectives and desired outcomes for the Kaituna River and its tributaries. The document will influence councils’ planning documents and local government decisions relevant to the awa (river).
Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority members today signed nine copies of the document at Moko Marae in Te Puke. Copies of the document were then handed back to the partner iwi and councils behind the creation of the document.
The document's launch completes a historic full circle including the signing of the Tapuika Deed of Settlement in 2012 and the enacting of the Tapuika Claims Settlement Act in 2014 through which the Crown acknowledged that the waterways which Tapuika live beside and cherish (the Kaituna River) had been degraded.
Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority was established out of the Act and is made up of five iwi and four councils.
The Act also directed the production of The Kaituna River Document as a tool to empower local iwi and councils to work together to guide the better care of the awa and its tributaries.
Mr Flavell said there was more work for everybody to do to secure the health and mauri of the Kaituna.
“The time to act is now, if we are going to pass on a clean healthy Kaituna River to our mokopuna (grandchildren),” he said.
Now that the Kaituna River Document has been launched, Te Maru o Kaituna will be developing an action plan for iwi, hapū, local government and the wider community to deliver on the common vision, objectives and desired outcomes set through the document.
The action plan will prioritise the collective actions of Te Maru o Kaituna partners and other responsible entities to restore protect and enhance the Kaituna River and its tributaries for the future.
Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority wishes to acknowledge and thank everyone who took the time to have their say, both in written submissions and at the hearing for the Kaituna River Document.
Te Maru o Kaituna will be hosting a public celebration later in the year, to register interest email email@example.com. To find out more about Te Maru o Kaituna or to view the document visit www.kaituna.org.nz.
- The purpose of Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority is to promote the restoration, protection and enhancement of the environmental, cultural and spiritual health and well-being of the Kaituna River. One of their key functions is to develop and approve The Kaituna River Document.
- The Tapuika Claims Settlement Act 2014 is the empowering legislation that established Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority which is the co-governance partnership made up of iwi representatives from Tapuika Iwi Authority Trust, Te Kapu Ō Waitaha, Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Trust, Te Tāhuhu o Tawakeheimoa Trust and Ngāti Whakaue. As well as council representatives from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana, Rotorua Lakes Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Tauranga City Council.
Photo caption for above: Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority members (L-R) Bryce Kihirini, Cr Jane Nees, Cr Matemoana McDonald, Dean Flavell (Chairman), Maria Horne, Cr Tania Tapsell and Nick Chater. Back row: Rikihana Hancock, Cr Steve Morris and Cr Arapeta Tahana (Deputy Chairman) at Moko Marae in Te Puke today.
Photo caption for below: The signing of The Kaituna River Document, Kaituna, he taonga tuku iho - a treasure handed down.