Mana whenua are the iwi (Māori tribal groups) recognised by the Crown as having links to Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). Their interests are represented by 19 tribal authorities, with whom we have a longstanding cooperative relationship.
We recognise the importance of the values held by kaitiaki (guardians or protectors). These include their environmental and spiritual ties to ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu (sacred areas) and other taonga (treasures), and the wellbeing of the entire iwi.
Consulting on projects
Our engagement with mana whenua includes valuable input when considering the cultural, environmental, social and economic impact of projects.
In 2012 we established the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum to encourage discussion and guidance, and to share views on the management of water and wastewater. The forum’s focus has widened to all matters affecting the strategic interests of mana whenua across the Auckland region.
The Kaitiaki Schedule is regularly sent to the 19 tribal authorities. It sets out our planned work programme, most of which requires resource consent. Representatives are invited to express interest in projects. Whether they choose to join the project team or just make comments, there is an opportunity for iwi input throughout the process of developing infrastructure.
The Kaitiaki Managers Group, a sub-group of the forum, also meets to discuss matters of regional interest arising from larger projects, and strategic processes that could affect their interests.
Benefits of consultation
Our ties with mana whenua go well beyond our Treaty of Waitangi obligations, forming a respectful and valued partnership that continues to evolve.
We also acknowledge the importance of Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge systems) and the contribution of a unique world view, providing a long-term vision for protecting natural resources.
During planning and decision-making, these principles can offer new ways of thinking, and opportunities to achieve more mutually agreeable outcomes.
Kete Kōrero: Learn about the Māori world
Download Auckland Council's educational resource about Te Ao Māori (the Māori world). Includes pronunciation in Te Reo.
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