We’ve developed a policy and structure to facilitate greater Māori participation in our decision-making processes.
Iwi consultative committee
Our governance structure includes an Iwi Consultative Committee. The committee considers all significant matters, particularly in relation to the development of policy, and then makes appropriate recommendations for Council’s consideration.
Ngā Iwi Tōpū O Waipā (NITOW), translated as The Assembled People of Waipā, is a group that represents all hapū in the Waipā District. They meet monthly and consider resource consent applications. They also consider other issues that are bought directly to Iwi for consultation and consideration. NITOW also nominates members on to the Iwi Consultative Committee.
We further promote the decision-making capacity of Māori through the appointment of an Iwi representative to the Strategic Planning & Policy Committee and Regulatory Committee.
Iwi Management Plans
Hingakākā-Ngāroto Iwi Management Plan
Raukawa Environmental Management Plan 2015
Waikato-Tainui Environmental Management Plan
Maniapoto Environmental Management Plan 2018
Ngāti Hauā Iwi Environmental Management Plan
Māori Involvement in Reserve Management
A committee has been established to oversee the management of key reserves in Pirongia Village.
The reserves, which are subject to the provisions of the Waikato Raupatu Settlement Claims Act, are currently administered by the Department of Conservation.
In line with community expectation, we have sought an appointment (pursuant to the Reserves Act 1997) to control and manage these reserves.
Given the significance of these reserves to local Māori, representatives of Purekireki Marae and Te Kauhanganui O Waikato are appointed as members of the committee, as well as local community representatives and Pirongia Ward councillors.
Maungatautari Scenic Reserve
In light of the scale and significance of the Maungatautari Ecological Island project, a committee was established to oversee the management and development of the Maungatautari Scenic Reserve.
The maunga (mountain) has particular significance to local Iwi, and we have recognised this in the membership of the Maungatautari Reserve Committee, with five of the 10 members being tangata whenua representatives.
The remaining members represent the wide range of other stakeholders with an interest in the ecological island project.
Māori Involvement in the Future Proof Initiative
The Future Proof initiative, being the development and implementation of a sub-regional growth strategy led by Waipā and Waikato District Councils, Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council, included the establishment of a tangata whenua reference group - Nga Karu Atua o te Waka - with members drawn from Iwi and hapu-based groups representing tangata whenua in Waipā District and the wider region.
Running concurrently with Future Proof is Waipā 2050, which is now focused on the review of the Waipā District Plan.
To ensure that Māori are actively engaged throughout the review process, we consult regularly with Ngā Iwi Toopu o Waipā and have established a joint working group to ensure that the Waikato River Vision and Strategy is appropriately reflected in the District Plan.
The Waikato-Tainui Raupatu (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010 provide further opportunities for Iwi involvement in decision-making.
The Act requires Waipā District Council and Waikato-Tainui to enter into a Joint Management Agreement (JMA) with respect to the Waikato River and activities within its catchment affecting the river.
Waipa Māori – our history
Settlement of the Waikato & Waipā District, in particular by the Tainui people, started as they began to explore inland several generations after initially settling at their landing place of Kawhia.
They eventually displaced the earlier inhabitants, Ngāti Kahupungapunga either by war or assimilation.
Virtually all the tangata whenua, (local people), of Waipā can trace their ancestry to Tāwhao, a direct descendant of Hoturoa the captain of the Tainui canoe.
The settlement of Ōtāwhao is currently known as Te Awamutu and means the ‘end of the navigable way’ where it was impractical to bring a canoe any further upstream.
Waipā District was a very fertile area and was densely populated by Māori for many generations until the land wars of the early 1860’s.
The Crown Forces under General Cameron invaded the Waikato which resulted in the confiscation of 1.2 million acres of the Waikato. This included Waipa’s fertile agricultural lands with the southern boundary being the Puniu river.
The indigenous communities were then replaced initially by the garrison towns of Alexandra (Pirongia), Te Awamutu, Kihikihi and Cambridge with much of the land then being balloted to the military settlers.
As time passed and farming practices improved, the Waipā now enjoys the reputation of being the heart of New Zealand’s dairy industry with the above mentioned settlements now being service centres for the farming and equine industries.
The Iwi in Waipā all affiliate to Tainui Waka, the major hapū are then: