Pou Taiao Chair, Herewini Parata said, “The continued lack of progress between the Crown and Iwi is affecting the mauri of our waterways, the stability of our country’s sustainable growth and the partnership guaranteed with the Crown under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Iwi, hapū and whānau have been working for years on methods to solve these matters, and these solutions need to be implemented.”
The Forum confirmed their preference for a regionally focused catchment-based system. This system will include a national set of tools to assist iwi and hapū to determine solutions for their unique hydrological situation.
Minister Parker laid out the establishment of a group for Māori to engage on the matters of Iwi rights and interests, water quality and discharge management in parallel to a specific approach to work with the Iwi Chairs Forum. The Forum is considering whether this group will adequately support the Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership.
Herewini Parata stated, “Iwi are committed to an agile process that ensures we move quickly to address our Iwi/hapū rights and interests in freshwater as outlined by the Waitangi Tribunal in 2012 and affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2013. Iwi and hapū have Te Tiriti. We are committed to working with the Crown to jointly address these issues for the benefit of the freshwater, Iwi/hapu and the wider community”.