11.1 Introduction

Noo taatou te awa. Noo te awa taatou.
E kore e taea te wehe te iwi o Waikato me te awa. He taonga tuku
iho naa ngaa tuupuna.

E whakapono ana maatou ko taa maatou, he tiaki i taua taonga
moo ngaa uri whakatupu.”

Robert Te Kotahi Mahuta 1975

11.1.1 The Waikato Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act (2010) (‘Act’) gives effect to the settlement of raupatu claims entered into between Waikato-Tainui and the Crown in December 2009. The overarching purpose of the settlement is to “restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations”.

11.1.2 The purpose of the Act is to:

(a) Give effect to the Deed of Settlement of December 2009;

(b) Recognise the significance of the Waikato River to Waikato-Tainui;

(c) Provide for statutory recognition of Te Ture Whaimana o te Awa o Waikato – The Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River (‘Te Ture Whaimana’);

(d) Establish and grant functions and powers to the Waikato River Authority (‘WRA’);

(e) Establish the Waikato River Clean-up Trust for the purpose of administering and managing a contestable clean-up fund;

(f) Recognise certain customary activities of Waikato-Tainui;

(g) Provide co-management arrangements for the Waikato River;

(h) Provide redress to Waikato-Tainui relating to certain assets; and

(i) Recognise the Kiingitanga Accord and other accords provided for in the schedule of the Kiingitanga Accord.

11.1.3 The Act must be interpreted in a manner that best furthers the overarching purpose of the settlement, Te Ture Whaimana, the agreements expressed in the 2009 deed, and the Kiingitanga Accord.

11.1.4 The key provisions of the Act, as it relates to this Plan and its implementation can be summarised as follows:

(a) Historical: Crown acknowledgments of the raupatu (confiscation) in the 1860’s which denied Waikato-Tainui their rights and interests in the Waikato River. The failure of the Crown to respect, provide for, and protect the special relationship Waikato-Tainui has with the River and the degradation of the River that has occurred while under the authority of the Crown, causing distress to Waikato-Tainui;

(b) Provision for legislative recognition of Te Ture Whaiamana;

(c) The establishment of a Clean Up Trust, administered by the Waikato River Authority Trust, to manage a contestable “clean-up” fund for restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River. The Crown’s contribution to this “clean up” fund, through the Waikato-Tainui settlement, will be $7 million per year for 30 years.

11.1.5 Following deed signing the Crown funded a study to identify options for clean-up priorities for the Waikato River and to determine the likely cost of achieving the overarching purpose of the settlement, being, “To restore the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations.”

11.1.6 The study was intended to inform the finalisation of the final contributions to the clean-up fund for the Waikato River. The study has been completed and identified a projected cost to restore the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River to 1840 reference conditions of approximately $4,840 million (present value of $1,930 million), with a net cost of $2,240
million (net present value of $1,400 million). Overall, however, the analysis predicts that the economic effect will be small because the recommended actions stimulate the local economy at the expense of a small contraction in the rest of New Zealand [3].

11.1.7 In addition to other mechanisms enabling Waikato-Tainui to have input and take part in planning or decision-making processes, the settlement provides for other matters relevant to this Plan:

(a) Recognition of a number of river-related customary activities;

(b) Recognition of this Plan;

(c) The development of an Integrated River Management Plan for fish and their habitat in the Waikato River by Waikato-Tainui, the Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Fisheries, and Waikato Regional Council;

(d) Development of regulations under the Fisheries and Conservation Legislation for the management of freshwater fisheries, flora, and fauna within and along the lower Waikato River and its catchments, including the ability to create freshwater fisheries by-laws;

(e) Preparation and implementation of the Waikato-Tainui flora cultural harvest plan;

(f) Kiingitanga accord and other portfolio-specific accords with the Ministers of Conservation, Fisheries, Land Information, Environment, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Local Government, Agriculture, Biosecurity, Energy, and with the Commissioner of Crown Lands along with the provision to develop ancillary accords with other Crown agencies;

(g) The establishment of Joint Management Agreements (‘JMAs’) with each local authority located within the Waikato River Catchment Area up to Karaapiro and within the Waipaa River Catchment Area up to the Puniu River Junction: Waikato District Council, Hamilton City Council, Waipaa District Council, and the Waikato Regional Council. The JMAs provide for greater Waikato-Tainui participation and decision making in local authority policy and planning as it relates to the Waikato and Waipaa Rivers in the geographical area of the JMAs. The Plan should provide for a more informed engagement under and implementation of the JMAs.

(h) River initiatives fund: The Crown will provide $50 million to the Waikato Raupatu River Trust for initiatives to restore and protect the relationship of Waikato-Tainui with the Waikato River (including its economic, social, cultural, and spiritual relationships) and the protection and enhancement of significant sites, fisheries, flora, and fauna (in the lower reaches of the Waikato River).

[3] Waikato River Independent Scoping Study (p.7) on 10 June 2013

11.2 Te Ture Whaimana

11.2.1 Te Ture Whaimana is intended to be the primary direction-setting document for the Waikato River and activities within its catchment affecting the River.

11.2.2 As noted in the Plan, Te Ture Whaimana has certain status and generally prevails over any inconsistencies in other policies, plans, or processes affecting the Waikato River. Relevant policies, plans, and processes cannot be amended so that they are inconsistent with Te Ture Whaimana and must be reviewed and amended, if required, to address any inconsistencies. Examples include;

(a) Waikato Regional Policy Statement: Te Ture Whaimana, in its entirety, became part of the Waikato Regional Policy Statement (‘RP S’) from the date of commencement of the Waikato River Act. The Waikato Regional Council is required to amend the RP S to make it consistent with Te Ture Whaimana and Te Ture Whaimana prevails in the event of inconsistency between the RP S and Te Ture Whaimana.

(b) Te Ture Whaimana prevails over any inconsistent provisions in a National Policy Statement issued under section 52 of the RMA and a New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement issued under section 57 of the RMA

(c) A rule included in a regional or district plan for the purpose of giving effect to the vision and strategy prevails over a National Environmental Standard made under section 43 of the RMA, if it is more stringent than the standard and a water conservation order made under section 214 of the RMA, if it is more stringent than the order.

(d) Updating RMA Planning Documents to conform with Vision and Strategy: local authorities must review their RMA planning documents, and where necessary update them to conform with Te Ture Whaimana following any review of Te Ture Whaimana completed by the WRA . After a local authority has amended their RMA planning documents to conform to Te Ture Whaimana, the local authority may begin a review of the conditions of resource consent under section 128 of the RMA and a requiring authority may give notice of its requirement to alter a designation, to make them consistent with Te Ture Whaimana. There is, however, no obligation on local authorities requiring them to act.

11.2.3 Reviews of Te Ture Whaimana: Following any initial review, the WRA must review Te Ture Whaimana no earlier than 5 years and no later than 10 years after the previous review. The processes that must be followed to review the vision and strategy are stipulated in the Waikato River Act and any recommended amendments must be consistent with the overarching purpose of Te Ture Whaimana, “to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations”. When reviewing Te Ture Whaimana, the WRA must take into account this Plan and the Waikato-Tainui objectives for the Waikato River, to the extent to which they are consistent with the overarching purpose of the settlement.

11.2.4 Applications for Resource Consents Relating to the Waikato River: The Waikato Regional Council must give the WRA and the Waikato River Raupatu Trust written or electronic notice of any resource consent application received with the intent to take, use, dam, or divert water in the Waikato River; to be allowed to make a point source discharge to the Waikato River; or to do any activity listed in section 13 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (‘RMA’) (which restricts certain activities and uses of beds of lakes or rivers) in relation to the Waikato River, within 5 business days of receipt. (sections 26 and 27 of the Act).

11.2.5 Hearing Committees: If the Waikato Regional Council holds a hearing under the RMA on an application identified in clause 11.2.4 above, the committee hearing the application must consist of members appointed by Council who are RMA decision makers; and the same number of members appointed by the WRA whose names are recorded on the register of accredited commissioners that the WRA is required to keep. This requirement also applies if an application is lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority under section 145 of the RMA and a direction is made under section 147(1)(c) of the RMA to refer the application to the Council. (section 28 of the Act).

11.2.6 Call-Ins: Where an application for resource consent relating to the Waikato River is called in and referred to a board of inquiry the Environmental Protection Authority must serve notice on the WRA of the decision to call in the application as soon as practicable. The Minister must request from the WRA the names of persons for appointment to the board, seeking the name of one person if the board is to have three appointees and the names of two persons if the board is to have five appointees as soon as practicable.

11.2.7 Section 100A of the RMA: If the Local Authority receives a request under section 100A of the RMA to delegate the hearing of an application to a commissioner or commissioners, the Local Authority must only delegate the hearings duties, functions and powers of the person(s) it must appoint to the hearings committee under section 28(2)(a) of the Act, and may not delegate those hearings duties, functions and powers of the person(s) appointed by the WRA under section 28(2)(b) of that Act. The Local Authority must ensure that the number of commissioners delegated to hear the application is equal to the number of members appointed under section 28(2)(b) of the Act.

11.2.8 Waikato River Clean Up Trust: In the Waikato River Settlement (WRS), the Crown acknowledges the Waikato-Tainui vision affirming the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River as the overarching purpose of the settlement, and the leadership and generosity of Waikato-Tainui in the establishment of the Waikato River Authority (WRA ) and the Waikato River Clean Up Trust. The Act established the Waikato River Clean Up Trust, a charitable trust with the object of restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations. The WRA are trustees of the ‘Clean-Up Trust’, and are responsible for the administration and management of the contestable clean-up fund.

11.2.9 Waikato River Independent Scoping Study: As required in the WRS, the Crown commissioned an independent scoping study to identify rehabilitation priorities in relation to the Waikato River and the likely cost of those priority activities, to provide useful background information for the operation of the Waikato River Clean-Up Trust.

11.2.10 Co-Management: Co-management requires more than consultation alone. The successful implementation of co-management, through the arrangements provided for in the WRS and the 2010 Act requires a new approach. Accordingly, the Crown and Waikato-Tainui acknowledge that co-management must involve:

(a) The highest level of good faith engagement;

(b) Consensus decision making as a general rule, while having regard to the statutory frameworks and the mana whakahaere of Waikato-Tainui and other Waikato River Iwi; and

(c) Implementation of initiatives at a number of levels and across a range of agencies, bodies, and authorities, including (but not limited to):

i. The processes for granting, transfer, variation or renewal of consents, licences, permits and other authorisations for all activities that will or could impact on the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River; and

ii. The development, amendment and implementation of strategies, policies, legislation and regulations that will or could impact on the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.

11.3 Integrated River Management Plan for Waikato River

11.3.1 The Act provides for the preparation of an Integrated River Management Plan (‘IR MP’) for the Waikato River within 3 years of the settlement date. The purpose of the IR MP is to achieve an integrated approach between Waikato-Tainui, relevant central government departments, relevant local authorities, and appropriate agencies in the management of aquatic life, habitats, and natural resources within the Waikato River consistent with the overarching purpose of the settlement. The IR MP must contain some or all of the following:

(a) A conservation component, addressing issues related to management under the Conservation Legislation Act 1987;

(b) A fisheries component, addressing issues related to management under the Fisheries Act 1996;

(c) A regional council component, addressing issues related to the resource management, biosecurity, and local government functions of the Council under the Resource Management Act 1991, Biosecurity Act 1993, Local Government Act 2002, and any other relevant enactments; and

(d) Any other component agreed to between the Waikato Raupatu River Trust and any appropriate agency responsible for administering, carrying out functions or exercising powers under enactments that affect the Waikato River or activities in its catchment which affect the Waikato River.

11.3.2 Each component of the IR MP is recognised specifically under other enactments related to management of the Waikato River:

(a) The conservation component is, for the purposes of the Conservation Act 1987,

i. A conservation management plan under section 17E; and

ii. A freshwater fisheries management plan under section 17J.

(b) The fisheries component is a fisheries plan under section 11A of the Fisheries Act 1996.

(c) The regional council component requires that a relevant local authority that is preparing, reviewing, or changing a RMA planning document must have regard to the plan.

(d) The other component has the effect agreed between the Waikato Raupatu River Trust and the appropriate agency.

11.3.3 T he Plan will inform the position of Waikato-Tainui on the IR MP, though the IR MP is a separate document.

11.4 Te Ture Whaimana o te Awa o Waikato - The Vision & Strategy for the Waikato River

VISION STATEMENT FOR THE WAIKATO RIVER

“Tooku awa koiora me oona pikonga he kura tangihia o te maataamuri
The river of life, each curve more beautiful than the last”

Our Vision is for a future where a healthy Waikato River sustains abundant life and prosperous communities who, in turn, are all responsible for restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River, and all it embraces, for generations to come”

OBJECTIVES FOR THE WAIKATO RIVER

In order to realise the Vision, the following Objectives will be pursued:

A. The restoration and protection of the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.*

B. The restoration and protection of the relationship of Waikato-Tainui with the Waikato River, including their economic, social, cultural, and spiritual relationships.*

C. The restoration and protection of the relationship of Waikato River Iwi according to their tikanga and kawa, with the Waikato River, including their economic, social, cultural and spiritual relationships.

D. The restoration and protection of the relationship of the Waikato Region’s communities with the Waikato River including their economic, social, cultural and spiritual relationships.

E. The integrated, holistic and coordinated approach to management of the natural, physical, cultural and historic resources of the Waikato River.*

F. Adoption of a precautionary approach towards decisions that may result in significant adverse effects on the Waikato River, and in particular those effects that threaten serious or irreversible damage to the Waikato River.*

G. Recognition and avoidance of adverse cumulative effects, and potential cumulative effects, of activities undertaken both on the Waikato River and within its catchments on the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.*

H. Te recognition that the Waikato River is degraded and should not be required to absorb further degradation as a result of human activities.*

I. The protection and enhancement of significant sites, fisheries, flora and fauna.*

J. The recognition that the strategic importance of the Waikato River to New Zealand’s social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing is subject to the restoration and protection of the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.*

K. The restoration of water quality within the Waikato River so that it is safe for people to swim in and take food from over its entire length.

L. The promotion of improved access to the Waikato River to better enable sporting, recreational, and cultural opportunities.

M. The application to the above of both maatauranga Maaori and latest available scientific methods.*

*Indicates a Waikato-Tainui objective for the Waikato River as set out in the Agreement in Principle dated 16 December 2007 relating to the Waikato-Tainui River Claim.

STRATEGIES FOR THE WAIKATO RIVER

To achieve the Objectives, the following Strategies will be implemented:

1. Ensure that the highest level of recognition is given to the restoration and protection of the Waikato River.

2. Establish what the current health status of the Waikato River is by utilising maatauranga Maaori and latest available scientific methods.

3. Develop targets for improving the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River by utilising maatauranga Maaori and latest available scientific methods.

4. Develop and implement a programme of action to achieve the targets for improving the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.

5. Develop and share local, national and international expertise, including indigenous expertise, on rivers and activities within their catchments that may be applied to the restoration and protection of the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.

6. Recognise and protect waahi tapu and sites of significance to Waikato-Tainui and other Waikato River Iwi (where they so decide) to promote their cultural, spiritual and historic relationship with the Waikato River.

7. Recognise and protect appropriate sites associated with the Waikato River that are of significance to the Waikato regional community.

8. Actively promote and foster public knowledge and understanding of the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River among all sectors of the Waikato regional community.

9. Encourage and foster a ‘whole of river’ approach to the restoration and protection of the Waikato River, including the development, recognition and promotion of best practice methods for restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.

10. Establish new, and enhance existing, relationships between Waikato-Tainui, other Waikato River Iwi (where they so decide), and stakeholders with an interest in advancing, restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.

11. Ensure that cumulative adverse effects on the Waikato River of activities are appropriately managed in statutory planning documents at the time of their review.

12. Ensure appropriate public access to the Waikato River while protecting and enhancing the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.

11.5 Waikato-Tainui & Te Ture Whaimana

11.5.1 Te Ture Whaimana is reflective of the Waikato-Tainui vision, objectives, and strategies for the Waikato River and Waikato-Tainui expects that any resource users or activity operators that could directly or indirectly have an effect on the Waikato River and its tributaries undertakes such resource use or activity consistent with Te Ture Whaimana and this Plan.

11.5.2 Additionally, Waikato-Tainui considers Te Ture Whaimana can be used as a benchmark or guide for all other streams, rivers and waterways within the Waikato-Tainui rohe. This is particularly true where Waikato-Tainui have not endorsed a vision, objective or strategy for other streams, rivers and waterways or where no vision, objective or strategy exists.

11.6 Issues

Te Ture Whaimana prevails

11.6.1 Legislation confirms that Te Ture Whaimana prevails in the event of any inconsistency between Te Ture Whaimana and other national and regional planning documents. At a resource management level it is critical that resource management occurs in a manner that contributes to and is consistent with Te Ture Whaimana.

Other catchments

11.6.2 Legislation confines Te Ture Whaimana to Area A of the Waikato River catchment. However, the vision and strategies for the Waikato River could also be applied, where appropriate, to other rivers and water bodies within the Waikato-Tainui rohe. This is particularly so where specific visions and objectives that mana whenua support have not been developed for a river or water body.

11.7 Objectives, Policies & Methods

Objective – Te Ture Whaimana prevails

11.7.1 Te Ture Whaimana prevails in any resource management, use and activity within the Waikato River catchment in the Waikato-Tainui rohe.

Policy – Te Ture Whaimana prevails

11.7.1.1 To ensure that Te Ture Whaimana prevails in any resource management, use and activity within the Waikato River catchment in the Waikato-Tainui rohe.

Methods

(a) Resource management, use, and activities within the Waikato River catchment in the Waikato-Tainui rohe is consistent with Te Ture Whaimana.

Objective – other catchments

11.7.2 Te Ture Whaimana is a guide to resource management, use, and activities in all catchments within the Waikato-Tainui rohe.

Policy – other catchments

11.7.2.1 To ensure that Te Ture Whaimana is used as a guide to resource management, use, and activities in all catchments within the Waikato-Tainui rohe.

Methods

(a) Resource management, use, and activities in catchments other than the Waikato River catchment are consistent with visions and objectives that mana whenua support that have been developed for a river or water body.

(b) If visions and objectives that mana whenua support have not been developed for catchments other than the Waikato River catchment, Te Ture Whaimana is to be used as the baseline for that catchment. In this case resource management, use, and activities should be consistent with Te Ture Whaimana unless otherwise agreed with Waikato-Tainui (including mana whenua).

(c) In considering the visions and objectives that should be applied to catchments other than the Waikato River catchment, the use of highest targets and measures are supported.