Crown acknowledgements and apology
Based on the agreed historical account, the Crown acknowledgements recognise the acts and omissions of the Crown in relation to the Whanganui River, including its failure to protect the interests of Whanganui Iwi, and the adverse effects and prejudice caused to Whanganui Iwi.
The Crown apology is the Crown’s formal apology for Treaty breaches as the Crown seeks to atone for past wrongs and build a renewed relationship with Whanganui Iwi.
Ruruku Whakatupua – Te Mana o Te Awa Tupua
Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua provides a new legal framework for the Whanganui River centred on Te Awa Tupua. The settlement provides that Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua is a relevant consideration for any person making statutory decisions relating to the Whanganui River or activities in the catchment affecting the River. Te Pā Auroa comprises the following seven principal elements.
Legal recognition of Te Awa Tupua
Under the settlement Te Awa Tupua will be recognised in legislation as an indivisible and living whole comprising the Whanganui River from the mountains to the sea, incorporating its tributaries and all its physical and metaphysical elements.
Te Awa Tupua will also be recognised as a legal person. Reflecting the view of the River as a living and integrated whole, Te Awa Tupua will have its own legal personality with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person.
Tupua te Kawa (Te Awa Tupua values)
Under the settlement, a set of intrinsic values – Tupua te Kawa – will be established and recognised. Tupua te Kawa comprise the following four values which represent the essence of Te Awa Tupua:
- Ko te Awa te mātāpuna o te ora (The River is the source of spiritual and physical sustenance)
- Te Awa Tupua is a spiritual and physical entity that supports and sustains both the life and natural resources within the Whanganui River and the health and wellbeing of the iwi, hapū and other communities of the River.
- E rere kau mai te Awa nui mai te Kahui Maunga ki Tangaroa (The great River flows from the mountains to the sea)
- Te Awa Tupua is an indivisible and living whole from the mountains to the sea, incorporating the Whanganui River and all of its physical and metaphysical elements.
- Ko au te Awa, ko te Awa ko au (I am the River and the River is me)
- The iwi and hapū of the Whanganui River have an inalienable interconnection with, and responsibility to, Te Awa Tupua and its health and wellbeing.
- Ngā manga iti, ngā manga nui e honohono kau ana, ka tupu hei Awa Tupua (The small and large streams that flow into one another and form one River)
- Te Awa Tupua is a singular entity composed of many elements and communities, working collaboratively to the common purpose of the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua.
Decision makers under the primary legislation affecting the Whanganui River must recognise and provide for both the legal status of Te Awa Tupua and Tupua Te Kawa.
Te Pou Tupua
Under the settlement the position of Te Pou Tupua will be established to act as the human face of Te Awa Tupua. Two people will be appointed jointly from nominations made by iwi with interests in the Whanganui River and the Crown.
The role of Te Pou Tupua is to act and speak on behalf of Te Awa Tupua, uphold the legal status of Te Awa Tupua and Tupua te Kawa, and promote and protect the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua. Te Pou Tupua will also carry out relevant ‘landowner’ functions and administer Te Korotete o Te Awa Tupua.
Te Pou Tupua will be supported by Te Karewao, an advisory committee comprising representatives of Whanganui Iwi, other iwi with interests in the River and local authorities.
Te Pou Tupua will enter into relationships with relevant agencies, local government and the iwi and hapū of the River to help Te Pou Tupua both apply Tupua te Kawa and perform its functions.
The Crown will provide an annual contribution of $200,000 for 20 years to support Te Pou Tupua and Te Karewao.
Te Heke Ngahuru ki Te Awa Tupua (Te Awa Tupua Strategy)
A strategy document, Te Heke Ngahuru ki Te Awa Tupua, will be developed, directed to the future environmental, social, cultural and economic health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua. Te Heke Ngahuru will identify issues and provide a strategy and recommended actions for addressing those issues.
Decision makers under the primary legislation affecting the Whanganui River must have particular regard for Te Heke Ngahuru.
Te Heke Ngahuru will be developed through a collaborative, public process by a strategy group, Te Kōpuka nā Te Awa Tupua, and will be reviewed at least every 10 years.
Te Kōpuka nā Te Awa Tupua (Te Awa Tupua Strategy Group)
Te Kōpuka nā Te Awa Tupua will be a strategy group comprising representatives of iwi, central and local government, and other groups with interests in the River, including the primary sector, recreational users and environmental groups.
In additional to developing Te Heke Ngahuru, Te Kōpuka’s functions will include monitoring its implementation as well as providing a forum for discussing issues related to the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua. It may also receive delegated functions from local authorities.
The Crown will provide a one-off contribution of $430,000 to the cost of establishing Te Kōpuka and the development of Te Heke Ngahuru.
Vesting of the Crown-owned bed of the Whanganui River
The Crown-owned parts of the bed of the Whanganui River and its tributaries will vest in Te Awa Tupua through the settlement legislation. The vesting includes any pakohe, gravel, sand and shingle.
The vesting will not affect or prevent the recognition of any aboriginal title or customary rights of iwi and hapū relating to the River.
Te Korotete o Te Awa Tupua (Te Awa Tupua fund)
A $30 million fund, Te Korotete o Te Awa Tupua, will be established to support the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua. Te Korotete will be held in the name of Te Awa Tupua and administered by Te Pou Tupua. Applications will be open on a contestable basis to any person or group wishing to advance an initiative related to the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua.
Other Te Awa Tupua arrangements
In addition to the key elements of Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua outlined above, Ruruku Whakatupua – Te Mana o Te Awa Tupua also provides for:
- the protection of the name ‘Te Awa Tupua’ from misuse, or from use without the consent of Te Pou Tupua
- the establishment of the Te Awa Tupua register, maintained by Te Pou Tupua, of accredited hearing commissioners who may be appointed to consider certain resource consent applications relating to the Whanganui River
- a collaborative process (involving iwi, Maritime New Zealand, and central and local government) to identify how to improve the regulation of activities on the surface of the River
- the establishment of a fisheries coordination group (involving iwi, Fish and Game New Zealand, and central and local government) to advance the protection, management and sustainable use of freshwater fisheries in the catchment
- a collaborative process (involving iwi and the Ministry for Primary Industries) to explore the development of a regulatory mechanism to provide for customary food gathering
- interim custodian arrangements, pending the review of the Protected Objects Act 1975, in Te Awa Tupua for taonga tūturu found in the Whanganui River.
Ruruku Whakatupua – Te Mana o Te Iwi o Whanganui
Ruruku Whakatupua – Te Mana o Te Iwi o Whanganui contains an iwi narrative, an agreed historical account, Crown acknowledgements and apology, and cultural and financial redress for Whanganui Iwi.
Te Pākurukuru: Whanganui Iwi – Crown relationship Agreement
Whanganui Iwi and the Crown have agreed to work together to develop an overarching relationship document, Te Pākurukuru, which will help both parties as they work together to implement and give effect to the settlement. Te Pākurukuru will represent the mutual commitment of the Crown and Whanganui Iwi to Te Awa Tupua.
Whanganui Iwi standing
The settlement recognises that Whanganui Iwi has not only an interest in, and responsibility to, Te Awa Tupua and its health and wellbeing, but that its interest is greater than and separate from the interest of the public generally. The Whanganui Iwi governance entity will have the statutory right to lodge submissions and participate in hearing processes relating to the Whanganui River.
The settlement acknowledges that the exercise of customary activities by Whanganui Iwi is an integral part of their relationship with the River. Certain identified customary activities (including the launching of waka, the collection of river stones and pakohe, the use of the River for customary practices, and the erection and use of traditional fisheries structures) will be able to be carried out by Whanganui Iwi without the need for consent or other authorisation under certain statutes.
Other cultural redress
Ruruku Whakatupua – Te Mana o Te Iwi o Whanganui also contains other cultural redress, including:
- Crown recognition of the significance of ripo (rapids) to the relationship of each hapū of Whanganui Iwi with the River and to the relationship of Whanganui Iwi collectively with the River
- place name changes to the Whātaumā Stream (previously Whataumu Stream) and the Ōrongotea Stream (previously Orongatea Stream)
- agreement to progress a social services project (involving Whanganui Iwi and relevant agencies) directed to improved collaboration of health and related social services within the Whanganui region.
This settlement includes the payment of financial redress to Whanganui Iwi in recognition of the settlement of their claims and to help them advance the future health and wellbeing of both the Whanganui River and its people.
Whanganui Iwi will receive financial redress comprising:
- a financial redress payment of $80 million (together with interest that has been accumulating since Ruruku Whakatupua was initialled in March 2014)
- an additional payment of $1 million for transitional and implementation matters relating to the establishment of Te Pā Auroa Nā Te Awa Tupua.