The Environment

The Environment

Responsible use of natural resources are an important part of our heritage and cultural identity as Kaitiaki. Maintaining the sustain-ability of environmental resources is also critical to ensuring that we can sustain and hand-down certain cultural practices (e.g. mahinga kai).

We accept that, in part, our effectiveness as a board and our visibility as an iwi will be measured with reference to how effective we are in carrying out Kaitiaki responsibilities.

What are we going to achieve?

We are going to invest in a framework that helps us to clearly articulate and manage our interests in the natural environment, and which gives us a basis for evaluating resource consent applications and other activities that have an environmental impact. This will enable us to play a more active role in appropriately balancing the protection, sustainable use, and development of the natural environment and natural resources.

As a part of our cultural strategy we also intend to ensure members have an opportunity to understand our important connection with the environment and places, as well as cultural practices relating to them.

How are we going to do it?

To achieve this we intend to do the following:

  • Build and implement a framework that reflects our environmental values, and which enable, in particular, assessment of potential cultural impact and sustainability of proposed activities that impact on the environment. Over the coming year we will be seeking your views on what the most important environmental issues and natural features are for us to focus on;
  • Build capacity to evaluate and provide feedback on resource consent applications (and other activities with an environmental impact). We are particularly interested in whether this could be delivered in a more effective and efficient way by collaborating with other iwi where issues cross iwi “boundaries”;
  • Produce guidelines for customary use of resources, to both promote customary practices, and to ensure they are undertaken appropriately;
  • Up-skill people to take on kaitiaki/permitting roles;
  • Leverage our statutorily mandated relationship protocols with local and central government to ensure we are an integral part of regulatory decision making relating to the natural environment; and
  • As part of our cultural program we will create opportunities for you to understand more about sites of significance for Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, as well as our environmental values and responsibilities as Kaitiaki. 

How can you tell if we have been effective?

Within a year:

  • We will have given you the opportunity to express your view on what important environmental issues are, and how our values relating to the environment could best be expressed;
  • We will have developed a framework to enable evaluation of resource consent applications against our values and interests; and
  • We will have developed a process, and acquired the necessary skills and expertise to enable assessment of resource applications in a cost-effective way.

Within five years we will have:

  • Developed a proven and effective framework for consideration of activities that impact the environment;
  • Made sure that Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō environmental values and role as kaitiaki will be widely understood by whānau, other stakeholders, and the community at large;
  • Made sure that the existing relationships we have with government agencies and other stakeholders relating to the environment (Department of Conservation, local government, and others) are clearly aligned with our environmental interests and objectives; and
  • Explored, and potentially developed the possibility of collaborating with other iwi to develop a collective voice on environmental issues.