RANGITĀNE O WAIRARAPA
Regional plan review support for tangata whenua
Supporting tangata whenua so they could play an influential role in regional plan development.
In 2017, Greater Wellington Regional Council publicly notified a new Proposed Natural Resources Plan that combined previously separate regional plans into a single document.
Rangitāne Tū Mai Rā Trust (the post-settlement entity for Rangitāne o Wairarapa) and Rangitāne o Wairarapa Incorporated (the runanga for Rangitāne o Wairarapa) recognised how hugely important a high-quality regional plan would be to better manage the changing pressures on Papatūānuku and their own relationship with the environment. The ink was not yet dry on their Treaty settlement, which incorporated important resource managment redress for impacts on the natural environment within Rangitāne’s rohe. So they saw the regional plan as having important work to do to resolve the impacts of past human actions, and to provide better guidance for how we interact with the environment in the future.
Successful mediation processes
We were privileged to be able to help Rangitāne through this complex and lengthy process. We provided advice for their submission on the notified PNRP, and coordinated cultural and technical evidence and presented expert planning evidence at the council hearings. Rangitāne went on to appeal a number of aspects of the Council’s decision on the PNRP, and joined the appeals of several other parties seeking to change the decision. We got to help Rangitāne again with planning advice, and participated in almost a year of mediation that involved topics across the whole Plan.
Bridging technical and cultural knowledge
Forming a close working relationship with the key decision-makers was critical to our mahi supporting Rangitāne. We were operating in a largely Pākēha-derived process while trying to ensure that Rangitāne knowledge and values were incorporated to reflect the cultural relationships and connections they have. We saw our role as kaimahi, supporting Rangitāne decision-makers by passing on our technical knowledge so they could combine that with their own knowledge and information. They could then make informed decisions about individual issues in the Plan.
Mediation on the PNRP has been completed, and the majority of appeals have been resolved. We will continue to help Rangitāne until the final issues are resolved.