Taiao

Environmental

Te Korowai / Enhanced  Conservation 

Nearly a quarter of the whenua within Te Rarawa’s rohe is now under co-management with the Department of Conservation (DOC). Many of our communities are in and around the conservation estate. The role that Te Rarawa hapū play in the governance and management of this whenua was one of the most important aspects of the settlement package. The cultural redress included a co-governance arrangement for conservation land, which is now referred to as Te Korowai.

The name Te Korowai refers to the concept of a cloak of protection and is representative of the role that the hapū and marae of Te Rarawa undertake as kaitiaki of the whenua and taonga within the entire taiao, including the conservation estate. The Korowai for enhanced conservation provides a framework to recognise the historical, spiritual and cultural association that Te Rarawa has with the conservation lands within their rohe.

Te Korowai gives Te Rarawa comprehensive input into decision-making, including the protection of cultural taonga and ecological areas, and the utilisation of cultural resources. It will also ensure that DOC decision-making, under the Conservation Act 1987 and Schedule 1 legislation, will occur in a framework in which Te Rarawa interests will be protected. The implementation of Te Korowai is a collaborative process with Te Rarawa working alongside Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto and Ngāti Kuri.

There are seven components that make up Te Korowai.

  • A mana whenua statement [LINK].
  • The role of Te Rarawa hapū, marae and Iwi in the DOC annual planning cycle.
  • Kaitiaki decision making over customary materials.
  • Kaitiaki decision making over wāhi tapu.
  • A leading role for Te Rarawa hapū in managing iconic sites such as Warawara [LINK].
  • Iwi appointments to the Te Hiku o Te Ika Conservation Board.
  • An annual meeting with the Minister of Conservation.

Engagement in DOC annual planning cycle

Te Rarawa will engage at all levels and stages of the regional and local DOC planning cycle in order to ensure that the appropriate kaitiaki hapū are participating in conservation management within their respective areas.

Customary Materials Plan

A Te Hiku o Te Ika-wide customary materials plan will be developed by Iwi. Once completed, kaitiaki from each area will have decision-making powers over applications from iwi members for customary materials, gathering of flora, and possession of dead protected fauna. It is anticipated that all users of the Conservation estate will also abide by the plan. The plan will contain criteria and guidance on who, what, when, how and where customary materials can be gathered, obtained or possessed.

Wāhi Tapu Plan

Each Iwi will hold files identifying wāhi tapu sites and other general areas of cultural significance. Ngā kaitiaki o Te Rarawa Iwi will have full management of these sites, including the ability to protect their sanctity and cultural values within each estate. DOC will enter into formal management agreements in relation to wāhi tapu on conservation land, which will affirm the kaitiaki and tikanga of these areas.

Te Hiku o Te Ika Conservation Board

This Board serves a conservation advisory role, along with offering community perspectives on conservation management issues for the Northland region.

A major responsibility of the board is overseeing the implementation of the Northland Conservation Management Strategy (CMS). The CMS implements general policies and establishes objectives for the integrated management of natural and historic resources, including any species managed by DOC, and for recreation, tourism and other conservation purposes.

In appointing members to the board, Te Rarawa trustees must be satisfied that the person has the mana, skills and knowledge, or experience to: participate effectively in the Board; and contribute to the achievement of the purpose of the Board. The Te Rarawa representative is appointed for a term of three years, unless the member resigns or is discharged by an appointer during that term; and may be reappointed or discharged by and at the sole discretion of the relevant appointer.

The Te Hiku o Te Ika Conservation Board meets four times a year at various locations. A public forum session where members of the public can talk to the board on conservation issues is held during each meeting. The full agenda for meetings is generally available one week before the meeting date from the board support officer.

[LINK: Te Hiku o Te Ika Conservation Board Members]

[LINK: Te Hiku o Te Ika Conservation Board Meeting Agendas and Minutes]

Annual meeting with the Minister of Conservation

In order to assess and evaluate the implementation of Te Korowai, an annual meeting is to be held between Te Hiku o Te Ika iwi and the Minister of Conservation. This will provide an opportunity to take a strategic long-term view, review the previous year’s work, and plan for the following year’s priorities.