Early Identification of Effects
One of the primary advantages of a CIA is its ability to identify both positive and adverse effects of a proposal on cultural values and interests at an early stage. This proactive approach enables stakeholders to modify the proposal, if necessary, to avoid, remedy, or mitigate any potential adverse effects. Early engagement and identification of effects helps pave the way for more culturally sensitive projects and contributes to a ‘no surprises’ scenario for all parties involved from the outset.
Clear Agreements on Mitigation Measures and Consent Conditions
Prior to the lodgement of a resource consent application, a CIA facilitates agreement between the mana whenua (iwi, whanau, hapū) and the applicant on how to avoid, remedy, or mitigate any relevant potential adverse effects. This pre-emptive step ensures that potential issues are addressed before they become stumbling blocks in the approval process.
A CIA also provides the basis for proposing consent conditions, should the application be approved. These conditions are tailored to address cultural concerns and ensure the project proceeds in a way that aligns with the values of mana whenua.
Incorporating Relevant Matters into Decision-Making
The CIA ensures that relevant cultural matters are incorporated into resource consent decision-making, and that appropriate weight is given to these considerations. This helps in creating a balanced and inclusive approach to decision-making processes.
Fulfilling Legal Requirements
Local authorities are required to satisfy consultation requirements under the Local Government Act 2002. The CIA serves as a crucial step in meeting these legal obligations while also promoting inclusivity and cultural sensitivity.
Raising Public Awareness
A CIA contributes to increased public awareness of the profound relationship between Māori and Te Taiao (the natural world). This heightened awareness emphasises the importance of Māori as tangata whenua and as Treaty partners in the resource management process.
The benefits outlined above demonstrate that the CIA is a powerful tool for achieving better cultural and environmental outcomes. By valuing and preserving the cultural values and interests of Māori, we move towards a future of greater understanding, and inclusivity in resource management.
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