Rangatiratanga and Kaitiakitanga in the Resource Management System

20 February 2020

The Independent Māori Statutory Board has made a submission to the government panel reviewing the resource management system. 

Based on its Auckland experience it has advocated for a strengthened Treaty  approach, with Māori being part of decision-making  on spatial  planning  to transform the resource management system.

Board Chairman, David Taipari, explains that, for too long,  the views of Māori, are sought but often not acted on in councils’ resource management decisions.

"Since 2012 the Independent Māori Statutory Board has participated in Auckland Council’s resource management planning and decision making. It has been involved in the Auckland Plan,  a spatial plan, addressing the four wellbeings and laying out how and where a region is expected to grow over the long-term, the location and form of future development, the transportation networks, infrastructure and community facilities. The Independent Māori Statutory Board considers that this  approach with the addition of Maori at the decision-making table can be strengthened and applied elsewhere in Aotearoa.

"As a Board, we have had the opportunity to observe, through our participation on various Council committees and bodies, what has worked well for Māori in terms of the Auckland Plan, other spatial plans, the RMA and what hasn’t worked.  We have considered where there is room for improvement and we have said so in our submission to the Resource Management Review Panel," David Taipari says. 

You can read the full submission here.

One of the Board’s key recommendations is addressing the issue of piecemeal approaches to Māori as decison-makers in the resource management system.  Currently legislative directives promote Māori participation in decison-making processes rather than Māori being at the table as decision-makers. 

"If Māori are not involved as decision-makers we consider that it diminishes the ability of councils to take an intergenerational and Māori values approach to address pressing environmental and urban development  challenges and issues facing all Aucklanders. It also fails to give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi in upholding rangatiratanga of Iwi and Hapu, as we explain in our submission.

"This is not an argument for wholesale change to the resource management system, rather it is about the opportunity to further build on and strengthen some of the existing building blocks by incorporating a stronger Treaty relationship and Te Ao Māori considerations into long-term decison-making," David Taipari says.

The Board encourages those wanting to know more detail about the submission by following our link above and also understanding the role of the Board by viewing our publications on our website here.