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Council and runanganui sign historic agreement

THE signing of a historic Joint Management Agreement (JMA) between Gisborne District Council and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou took place at Tikapa Marae today.

The agreement was to be signed by Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon and chief executive Judy Campbell on behalf of the council and by Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou board chairman Selwyn Parata and chief executive Herewini Te Koha on behalf of the runanganui.

“Ngati Porou have always sought an active role in the management of natural resources within their rohe,” said Mr Foon.

“With this agreement and effective implementation of it, that’s a reality now.”

The JMA is the first of its kind in New Zealand. It is the first use of section 36B of the Resource Management Act 1991, giving regional councils the ability to jointly manage natural resources with an iwi authority.

The JMA includes all land and water resources within or affecting the Waiapu catchment.

“It builds on the work of the existing Waiapu Koka Huhua partnership between the council, Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and the Ministry of Primary Industries to restore the Waiapu catchment.” Mayor Meng Foon.“We are privileged to now be able to jointly share the functions, powers and duties under the RMA with Ngati Porou as kaitiaki of the Waiapu,” the Mayor said.

A Waiapu catchment plan for managing freshwater will be co-developed under this agreement. A copy of the signed Joint Management Agreement will be available on the council’s website from Wednesday.