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Pathways to Transition

Implementing Te Mana o te Wai

Supporting iwi, hapū, water users, and decision-makers to understand and implement policy that prioritises Te Mana o te Wai

Photo: Erica Sinclair Photography, Truestock

What Are We Doing?

What does water need to be healthy and well? What does water need to sustain itself? Te Mana o Te Wai is now the first principle for freshwater management in Aotearoa – a paradigm shift that puts the health of water first.

Once the health of water is provided for, then we can determine the quality and quantity of water available for essential human health, followed by the wellbeing of people and communities (socially, economically, and culturally).

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater 2020 has provided a blueprint for this transformation, but the integrity of its implementation will be essential. This project engages with iwi and hapū to explore what Te Mana o te Wai is for them. This perspective can create tools, guidance, and support for all users of water in Aotearoa where many are struggling to understand and give effect to this mātauranga Māori centered concept.

Photo: Erica Sinclair (Te Whānau a Apanui), Truestock

How Can The Research Be Used?

  • This project has produced a suite of practical tools and resources to support Te Mana o te Wai (see Resources, below).
  • The guidance documents set out pathways for implementing policy that prioritises the mana of wai, ensuring the work is led by mana whenua and will improve the wellbeing of our rivers, lakes, aquifers and estuaries.
  • One set of guidelines is to support the upskilling of mana whenua practitioners, to understand the current state of their water and define their aspirations, local context and preferred monitoring methods, so that regional regulations can be implemented in a way that truly prioritises the mana of wai and restores mauri.
  • The other set of guidance is for staff in regional authorities and government. It includes a training module with teaching notes, references and presentations.
  • A collaborative audit enabled regional authorities and mana whenua to consider the current state of the implementation of Te Mana o te Wai in their organisations and create a work plan to address gaps.
  • The project created a template to support iwi and hapu to establish a Taiao Unit, for outlining a business case for Te Mana o Te Wai implementation.
  • The project team created a set of Te Mana o te Wai factsheets and a set of four iwi-led Te Mana o te Wai case studies.

Research Updates

NZ Geographer

May 6 2022

New Horizons in the Politics of Water Governance

Our Land and Water researchers Ed Challies (University of Canterbury) and Marc Tadaki (Cawthron) are ...
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Samples of covers from Te Mana o te Wai case studies and reports

Feb 25 2022

New Guidance for Implementing ‘Te Mana o te Wai’ Policy Priority

A new collection of practical resources aim to guide the implementation of Te Mana o ...
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In the Media

Te Mana o te Wai puts planners on right course

Waatea News, 13 May 2021

"It's in the policy and so now it's a transition for a lot of those participants in the industry to understand what this means for their decision making, for their operationalisation of te mana o te wai in all their business, and I think there is a real willingness to understand and to learn"

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Te Mana o te Wai

Shepherdess magazine, Winter 2022

The mahi of Tina Porou supports the way to a more resilient future of freshwater management in Aotearoa. Here, Tina – of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri and Ngāti Rakaipaaka descent – shares what drives her and why she believes kaitiakitanga and Te Mana o te Wai can help decision-making about water.

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Community Involvement

  • Two wānanga were held with mātauranga Māori practitioners from around the country hosted in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and Taranaki. These brought together some of the country’s leading experts to discuss their relationship with wai, and how this needs to be reflected in the implementation of Te Mana o te Wai.
  • We held a wānanga in Rotorua, hosted by Te Arawa Lakes Trust, drawing together iwi and hapū Taiao practitioners to discuss the policy itself, how implementation could be improved and what the barriers are to uptake.
  • Iwi and collective of iwi of four catchments participated in this project as case studies (Waikato River, Waiapu River, Awahou Stream and Taniwha Springs, and Te Tauihu). Participants included mana whenua and people from regional authorities. Participants shared their relationship with and aspirations for their waters, their current roles, and responsibilities, how they plan to prioritise Te Mana o te Wai within their organisations, and the challenges they face and opportunities available in enacting policy that prioritises Te Mana o te Wai.
  • Case study collaborators include: Ngāti Raukawa; Hīkurangi Takiwā Trust and Te Papatipu o Uepohatu Trust; Ngāti Rangiwewehi Charitable Trust and Te Tauihu; eight iwi; and three local authorities contributing to varying degrees, including Tasman District Council and Marlborough District Council.

Research Outputs

CASE STUDIES

Case Study Overview Report

Poipoia Ltd
December 2021

This report provides an overview of confluent and divergent experiences of the four mana whenua case studies involved in this program Implementing Te Mana o Te Wai. The case studies provide insights and nuanced learnings in better addressing barriers and challenges they have experienced in freshwater management as well as sign-posting important features of a transformative regime that can be enabled through and by Te Mana o Te Wai.

Case Study: Nga Iwi o te Tauihu

Poipoia Ltd
July 2021

The six iwi o Te Tauihu involved in this project are Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Kuia, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Tama Ki Te Waipounamu and Te Ātiawa Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu. Representatives from Rangitāne o Wairau and Ngāti Toa Rangatira maintained a watching brief through the project.

Case Study: Ngāti Rangiwewehi

Poipoia Ltd, Pihera-Ridge, K., Mohi, G., Hancock, R., Bidois, T., Bidois, Y., Hancock, K., Hancock, K.A., Douglas, N.
July 2021

Ngāti Rangiwewehi belongs to the Te Arawa Confederation of tribes, a rohe that extends from the north western shores of lake Rotorua and extends all the way to the coast at Maketu.

Case Study: Ngāti Raukawa

Tūānuku Ltd
July 2021

Raukawa are a people of three main rivers: Waikato, Te Waihou, and the Upper Waipā.

Case Study: Waiapu Kokahuhua

Pia Pohatu and Kate Walker
July 2021

Hapū and whānau of Ngāti Porou hold customary authority in the Waiapu for all natural and spiritual taonga through whakapapa and as te ahikaaroa mai Potikirua ki Te Toka A Taiau.

Fact Sheets

Te Mana o te Wai Factsheet 1: Hapū and Iwi

Implementing Te Mana o Te Wai working group
February 2022

The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide an introduction to Te Mana o Te Wai, the opportunities it presents for Iwi and Hapū, and potential pathways for implementation.

Te Mana o te Wai Factsheet 2: Māori Landowners

Implementing Te Mana o Te Wai working group
February 2022

The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide an introduction to Te Mana o Te Wai, the opportunities it presents for Iwi and Hapū, and potential pathways for implementation by Māori landowners.

Te Mana o te Wai Factsheet 3: The National Objectives Framework

Implementing Te Mana o Te Wai working group
February 2022

The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide an introduction to Te Mana o Te Wai, its relationship to the National Objectives Framework, and potential approaches for participation in limit setting, monitoring and action plans.

Te Mana o te Wai Factsheet 4: Consent Applications

Implementing Te Mana o Te Wai working group
February 2022

This purpose of this fact sheet is to provide an introduction to Te Mana o Te Wai, its role in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFW) and some of the potential implications for resource consent applicants.

Te Mana o te Wai Factsheet 5: Monitoring and Enforcement

Implementing Te Mana o Te Wai working group
February 2022

The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide an introduction to Te Mana o Te Wai, its relationship to the National Objectives Framework, and potential approaches for participation in limit setting, monitoring and action plans.

Resources for Mana Whenua

Te Mana o te Wai Guidelines for Mana Whenua

Poipoia Ltd
February 2022

These guidelines have been developed for a range of users; however, it is primarily focused on guidelines that would benefit whānau, hapū and iwi. Local and central government staff and governors may also gain important insights into the implementation of Te Mana o te Wai.

Business Case Template for Establishing a Hapū Iwi Taiao Unit

Poipoia Ltd
October 2021

This template Business Case is intended to support Iwi and Hapu who are grappling with how they can build or extend their Taiao functionality within their organisations and considers some of the baseline information they will need to consider and some examples of options for internal structures. The business case can be used to support funding applications, internal discussions for reallocating baseline funding, and provide a workplan for consideration when needing broader infrastructure to give effect to Te Mana o te Wai.

Mātauranga Māori Wānanga Overview Report

Poipoia Ltd
December 2021

Che Wilson convened wānanga gathering whānau from around the motu to create a space to discuss and further extend our understanding of the whakapapa and needs of our wai. These wānanga were essential to the drafting of the resources produced by the Implementing Te Mana o te Wai working group. As with all wānanga, the sweetness was experienced in person, however, this summary provides a small taste of the depth of the korero experienced.

Rangatiratanga o te Wai Facilitation Programme

Poipoia Ltd
February 2022

The Rangatira o Te Wai Facilitation Programme has been developed to assist and empower iwi, hapū and mana whenua to prepare for Te Mana o Te Wai based engagement. The programme recognises that iwi, hapū and mana whenua have a unique standing, and have distinct rights, entitlements, and obligations in respect of their ancestral estate, mātauranga and wellbeing. Importantly, the programme does not presume to tell indigenous peoples their rights, entitlements, and obligations; but instead provides a primer to access to information about the Resource Management regime, how and where there are levers for mana whenua influence and direction, and to develop (or revise) mana whenua plans, strategies, and modalities for wai Māori. A separate, but aligned, Te Mana o Te Wai Training Programme has been developed for local Councils and decision-makers (see below).

Resources for Regional Authorities

Te Mana o te Wai Training Programme for Regional Councils

Poipoia Ltd
February 2022

The Te Mana o Te Wai Training Programme has been developed as a minimum training standard for those with statutory roles within, or proximate to, the freshwater estate. It is of particular relevance to those who have obligations under the Resource Management framework, and the National Policy Statement on Fresh Water. The Te Mana o Te Wai Training Programme is for:
• all Council staff interfacing with Te Mana o Te Wai
• Senior managerial staff at local and regional Councils
• Governance members of local and regional Councils

Te Mana o te Wai Audit Tool

Poipoia Ltd
February 2022

This audit tool has been developed to support councils and mana whenua to work together to assess how both sets of organisations are prepared for and currently implementing Te Mana o te Wai. It is intended to support an open and transparent process which includes self-assessment which should provide a current state for both parties.

Team Snapshot

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