Tauranga City Councillors decided this week to allocate $30,000 a year for Tauranga hapu to develop management plans for Treaty of Waitangi settlements.
An application in council’s Ten Year Plan for $30,000 to develop iwi/hapu management plans was unopposed by city councillors during draft annual plan financial discussions.
Council has decided Tauranga hapu and iwi will receive $60,000 in the next two years to assist with the development of management plans.
The first payment of $30,000 will be made in the 2013/14 financial year.
An iwi/hapu management plan is developed and approved by iwi/hapu describing resource management issues of importance and contain information relating to specific cultural values, historical accounts and descriptions of areas of interest. They can also include social economic and cultural issues.
The management plan will carry legal weight under the Resource Management Act and must be considered in the resource consent decision making process.
With a view to future co-governance issues, the plans can be used to set future direction in relation to social, economic and cultural issues as well as environmental issues.
Reon Tuanau - an iwi representative on the city council’s Tangata Whenua Committee - says the council investment is also a way for council, hapu and iwi to prepare and plan for changes coming out of the treaty settlements.
He thinks it will be two to three years before the settlements come through, which gives all parties time to prepare.
Mayor Stuart Crosby says he’s nervous.
The council is being advised by the Office of Treaty settlements that there are going to be a number of co-governance and co-management agreements put in place at some point. He was questioning the timing of the council’s action and whether they should wait or go ahead.
Reon says the hapu plans provide both Maori and the council an idea of where changes are likely to occur. Hapu, iwi and council must work together.
Councillor Murray Guy asked how he is to explain to ratepayers outside the chamber that the council is paying for the process.
Reon sees it as the way forward. It is also seen as a way of bringing hapu more to the fore in the process.
There are 13 hapu in the Tauranga area and eight iwi-hapu plans in varying states. Many date from the 1990s and haven’t been updates since.
The regional council has increased its funding allocated for iwi hapu plans from $50,000 - $70,000 each year, but it has many more iwi and hapu.
The Western BOP District Council pays out $20,000 a year for iwi and hapu in the Western Bay.