28 Nov 2022

Ngati Porou and Gisborne District Council Progressing the Co-development of Waiapu Catchment Plan

“Ko te mana ko te hauora o te whenua,

ko te hauora o nga awa,

ko te hauora o te iwi

(Healthy land, healthy rivers, healthy people)”

To recognise the enduring relationship of Ngati Porou to Wai and particularly the Waiapu Catchment, Gisborne District Council and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou (on behalf of nga hapu o Ngati Porou) entered into a Joint Management Agreement (JMA) in 2015. The JMA enables joint decision making on notified resource consents and planning documents and the co-development of the Waiapu Catchment Plan.

Gisborne District Council and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou are currently working together to develop a catchment plan with input from the community and Ngati Porou whanau and hapu. This collaboration is key to ensuring matauranga Ngati Porou is central to the process of understanding and managing freshwater and other natural resources in the catchment. 

What is a Catchment Plan?

In the case of the Waiapu Catchment Plan, it provides Gisborne District Council and Ngati Porou a vehicle to jointly articulate our vision and ideas about how to manage freshwater and other natural resources. The Waiapu Catchment Plan will incorporate Matauranga Ngati Porou and western science to ensure integrated management of freshwater and other resources from the mountains to the sea.

Co-development means that Gisborne District Council and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou will share the actual writing of the plan. This is unique to Waiapu Catchment Plan as enabled by the JMA.

Development of the Waiapu Catchment Plan will:

  • Give effect to Te Mana o te Wai and the Ngati Porou Joint Management Agreement;
  • Ensure the mauri and values of waterways are recognised, protected and enhanced;
  • Align with Ngati Porou and community values and aspirations;
  • Ensure residents and stakeholders have opportunities to inform how water will be managed; and
  • Provide clear direction for sustainable management of freshwater in the catchment.

Essentially the plan will cover how people interact with the awa, how they use it and protect it. This means it is imperative, as kaitiaki and ahi kaa that the whanau of the Waiapu are part of how this is designed.

What have we done to date?

We have established a technical team to work with Gisborne District Council to work through the statutory requirements of the Catchment Plan and identify opportunities to incorporate Matauranga Ngati Porou. This group is informed by a hapu technical group consisting of representatives of the Rohenga Tipuna within the Waiapu Catchment. The hapu technical group will guide Gisborne District Council and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou on how to engage with whanau and hapu within the Waiapu Catchment. This will include additional wananga run by Ngati Porou.

Where to from here?

The Waiapu Catchment Plan Background Document outlines background and key technical information to support the development of the Waiapu Catchment Plan. The document provides a starting point for shared understanding of the Waiapu catchment and a context to discussions on the setting of future freshwater objectives and associated limits.

The technical team has been summarising feedback from engagement on this kaupapa to date and would like to provide an update. Community hui will be held as per the following schedule:

Waiapu RSA, 7 December 2022

Drop-in session 11.00am – 2.00pm

Our team will be available to korero about the catchment plan and what is involved going forward.

Ruatoria RSA, 7 December 2022

Community Hui 5.30pm-7.30pm

All are welcome

Further information and updates can also be found on the GDC website.

Please contact Kate Walker at KEWalker@tronp.org.nz for any enquiries.