Kia ora koutou e te whaanau

A quick paanui to update you all on a few announcements that have been made by Government this week.


You may have seen the media reports yesterday, that the first draft of the exposure draft has been approved by Cabinet and then it will be referred to the select committee inquiry process. The link to these documents are as follows:

Preliminary comments

  • The Freshwater ILG is cautiously optimistic regarding some aspects of the Exposure Draft of the new Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) released by the Government.

  • The NBA includes some elements which better provide for the recognition of te ao Maaori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi which represents an important step beyond the current position under the RMA, for example:

    • decision-makers would be required ‘to give effect to’ the principles of Te Tiriti, (replacing the current RMA requirement to “take into account”); and

    • part of the Act’s purpose includes upholding the new concept of “Te Oranga o te Taiao” which focuses on the health of the natural environment and recognises the relationship of iwi/hapuu with Te Taiao and related tikanga.

  • The proposed provision of strong environmental limits for the protection of Te Taiao are also consistent with one of the principles in Ngaa Maataapono ki te Wai, which is framework developed by the Freshwater ILG in respect to freshwater.

  • However, the Freshwater ILG considers that other elements of the NBA that require further development in order to truly reflect the Government’s stated commitment to better recognising te ao Maaori and give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti.

  • While there is provision in the Exposure Draft for some role on planning committees at the regional level the details remain to be developed, and we are yet to see any clear role for iwi/hapuu at the National decision-making level.

  • The resolution of iwi and hapuu rights and interests in freshwater continues to be an outstanding issue which will be critical in the next phase of the reforms regarding the governance, management and allocation of natural resources, including concessions.

  • The ongoing engagement of iwi and hapuu in these matters is critical moving forward as the full suite of legislative reforms (comprising not only the balance of the NBA, but also the Spatial Planning Act and Climate Change Adaptation Act which are yet to be developed) must give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti, uphold Te Oranga o Te Taiao, and provide for the participation of iwi/hapuu in co-design and decision-making at both a national and regional level.

Next Steps

· The Freshwater ILG are preparing an issues paper and related submission template that we will circulate to all the Iwi Chairs.

· It is also anticipated that we will hold hui at the end of August to allow time for iwi and hapuu to have the opportunity to consider all the issues and ask any questions they may have on key Kaupapa.

· We encourage whaanau to look out for these paanui and to make submissions in August/September.


Today, Minister Mahuta made an announcement today about the Three Waters Reforms. Please see the link to the Minister’s press release below:

Essentially, in summary – the following key information has been released:

  • The decision taken by cabinet on the design and number of the new water entities (four regions).

  • The new system for Three Waters Service Delivery – which will set out the case for change and the need for a comprehensive package of reforms;

  • Developing the new three waters service delivery entities – which is going to set out the structure of the new entities, associated oversight, governance and ownership arrangements, and mechanisms that provide for communities and consumers voice in the new structure;

  • Protecting and promoting iwi/Maaori rights and interests in the new three waters service delivery model – which we understand is going to set out specific mechanisms for protecting and promoting rights and interests in the new service delivery model

As per the RM Reforms, the ongoing engagement for iwi and hapuu in these matters is critical moving forward particularly the decisions for the new system and service delivery entities.

The link to information is at the following page: