Letter from Mana Whenua
Kaitiaki Forum 

Letter from Mana Whenua Kaitiaki

Kia whai tonu ake ki ngā pūtake mai ō tua whakarere
Kia whiria ake ngā aho mai i ngā tōpito mai i ngā tauranga
Tapuwae nuku tapuwae rangi
He nekeneke tāngata he nukunukunga o ngā aronga
Mai i ngā kāwai ki ngā uri kua heke ki ngā uri o āmuri ake nei e…
Ka mihi ki te whenua ka tangi mō te hunga kua okioki – rātou ki a rātou
Ki te hunga kua mahue mai ki muri tēnā rawa atu koe arā koutou katoa.
Kia tahuri tonu atu ki a koutou e ngā Pou o te Kāhui Tātaki mō Watercare, kāti ake.

Kaitiaki – mena ka tau te mauri o te taiao ka tau te oranga o te ira tangata

If the life force of the environment is in balance, the wellbeing of mankind is assured.

This expression aligns a vision of the partnership between Watercare and the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Managers Forum (Kaitiaki Forum). The Kaitiaki Forum represents 19 iwi authorities from within Tāmaki initiated in 2012. The 2020/21 year has seen a need to review the role of the Forum within key water-related activities as well as the continuation of a refreshed direction into the foray of socio-environmental matters. Since the 2012 inception the Forum has maintained an operations focus promoting modes of efficient and effective working processes through relationships with Watercare across the myriad of issues associated with servicing the demands of population-based growth as well as the urban development across the breadth of Tāmaki Makaurau.

With the advent of the Central Interceptor (CI) project a Cultural Outcomes Group (COG) was established with representatives from the Kaitiaki Forum, Watercare as well as the Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture (GAJV). The COG role is to have on-the-ground presence that can identify and respond to emerging issues aligned with its overall objectives:

  • Acknowledging the cultural and spiritual importance of the whenua
  • Recognising mana whenua as kaitiaki
  • Creating opportunities for social, economic and environmental enhancement
  • Providing mana whenua with the opportunity to be actively involved in the CI.

The influence of the COG has included the following initiatives:

  • Early engagement in relation to archaeological sites
  • Appointment of cultural advisors
  • Cultural induction programmes for all workers
  • Karakia and blessings prior to construction of each stage of work
  • Engaging with industry groups to relay the importance of kaitiakitanga
  • Developing programmes to educate the wider community on the cultural aspects of groundwater and taonga
  • Advising on the use of appropriately sourced native species in landscaping.

This reporting period has seen the Forum advance work across a range of projects from the following key groups:

  • Water headworks and treatment
  • Water networks
  • Wastewater treatment plants
  • Wastewater network projects.

Watercare and the GAJV have embraced a major initiative that seeks to deliver significant social outcomes for the people of Tāmaki Makaurau. This level of progress is very encouraging indeed. There still remains, however, the dire need to establish a consolidated focus on a shared purpose for the Forum by considering this statement:

Nō onamata te mauri. Kei anamata te aronga: Ancestrally driven with a clear focus on the future

In summary, it is important for the Forum membership to uphold the depth of relevant cultural knowledge and values on their respective quests for fully empowered futures.

We also support continuous messages that encourage people to be water wise through these prolonged dry periods, particularly as part of the education programme across schools to teach tomorrow’s leaders about water and wastewater treatment, inspiring them to treat water as the precious resource that it is.

In conclusion we acknowledge the continued support from Watercare that enables the Kaitiaki Forum to give effect to focused, holistic ecosystems management.

Kāti ki konei, kia tau te mauri e…

Tame te Rangi
Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum


Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum:

Makaurau Marae Māori Trust
Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara Trust
Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust
Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust
Ngāti Maru Rūnanga Incorporated
Ngāti Rēhua – Ngāti Wai ki Aotea Trust
Ngāti Tamaoho Trust
Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust
Ngāti Tamaterā Settlement Trust
Ngāti Wai Trust Board
Ngāti Whanaunga Incorporated
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust
Te Ākitai Waiohua Iwi Authority
Te Ara Rangatū o Te Iwi o Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua
Te Kawerau Iwi Tribal Authority
Te Patukirikiri Incorporated
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua
Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust
Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Incorporated