Kīhai mātou o Te Rarawa e whakaae ana ki te mahi Significant Natural Areas

Te Rarawa opposes Significant Natural Areas  

Approximately 8,000 Māori landowners were notified of proposed Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) by the Far North District Council (FNDC).  Te Rarawa oppose both the kaupapa and the process, and have written to FNDC. 

Letter to the Far North District Council

Te Rarawa strongly opposes all of the Far North District Council’s proposed Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) on Iwi and Maori and whanau owned whenua.  Te Rarawa also strongly oppose the process (or lack thereof) of deeming and proposing SNAs.  As mana whenua (people of the land), Maori, Iwi and whanau landowners we object to the following: 

  • Not engaging and working with Iwi as the Treaty partner and as required under the mantle of He Whakaputanga, Te Tiriti and WAI 262 - partnership 

  • The lack of face-to-face engagement, hui and wananga with Maori, whanau, hapu and iwi landowners in our rohe – partnership.   

  • the FNDC has not shared or made available the data and information of Maori land (general and Maori title) with each landowner - sovereignty and protection 

  • There has been no hui, wananga or korero had with Iwi, hapu or Maori landowners in Te Hiku o te Ika to properly and adequately engage with the owners.  particiption 

  • Access, photography, designating areas of whenua as proposed SNAs – this process was undertaken without owners’ knowledge, awareness, agreement and consent.  tino rangatiratanga 

  • Deeming areas as proposed SNAs in remotely without the landowners being engaged and included - partnership, protection, tino rangatiratanga 

  • Making assumptions with much of the land, without the insight, skill, knowledge and matauranga Maori of each whanau owner kaitiakitanga practises and views -  tino rangatiratanga 

  • The timeframe was insufficient for Maori landowners to meaningful provide feedback. 

  • We also raise questions of how many of the Maori landowners of Maori and general title land actually received notification by mail ONLY of this proposed process.  Relying on a traditional and less reliable form of notification also does not fully enable reach or engagement for Maori landowners to be aware to be able to engage.  participation 
    When we emailed and shared with our whanau on Facebook.  Resoundingly the response was surprise, shock and disappointment.  Almost all who responded was not aware of the FNDC proposing SNAs. 

  • Te Rarawa wrote to the FNDC to request responses to these critical concerns and invited them to a hui to seek solutions. 

  • The FNDC is encouraging surveys and submissions, noting, however, it is not a formal submission process.  So, landowners are requesting what is the point of these two processes and how will the results be used? 

  • As descendants and legacy holders of Whakaputanga, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and WAI 262, Iwi and Maori have long held tikanga, matauranga and rongoa Maori practises over our whenua and taiao.   

  • To propose that landowners can therefore, not undertake vegetation clearance, earthworks of subdivision without Council RMA consent and paying for said consent, is both offensive and upsetting. 

In closing Te Rarawa looks forward to FNDC’s speedy responses to our questions below: 


  • What plans are in place to meet with Maori, whanau, hapu and Iwi landowners in our rohe? 

  • What new timeframe will account for appropriate and timely face to face engagement? 

Data sovereignty 

  • What are the purposes of the survey and submission if these are not part of a formal submission process? 

  • What will be done with the results of the surveys and submissions? 

  • When will submitters receive a summary of the survey and submissions results? 

  • Will these be made public to the people of the rohe of Te Rarawa? 

Mana motuhake 

  • When will consent from landowners be approved? 

  • How will the Council be responsible for knowing existing kaitiakitanga practises of landowners on their land? 

Maori landowners 

  • How many of the 8,000 Maori landowners of Maori were reached? 

  • How many Maori landowners of general title were reached? 

  • How many have responded? 

  • How many of them have opposed your proposed SNAs? 

  • When will FNDC provide the landowners with the results of the survey and submissions? 

  • When will FNDC advise landowners and Iwi of Te Hiku o te Ika, of next steps? 

He Whakaputanga, Te Tiriti, WAI 262 

  • What steps is the FNDC doing to research, plan, develop policy, implement, engage, communicate and work in accordance with these founding documents? 

Naku noa, na  


Phill (Hoddy) Murray 

Tumu Whakarae    

Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa