Council Partnership with Maaori

​​Te Whakawhanaunga a Te Kaunihera ki te Iwi Maaori

Korero Timatanga

Council acknowledges the special place of Maaori in Hamilton’s history. The city enjoys both the benefits of the historic knowledge, experience and views of Maaori as well as the role that Maaori play in building Hamilton’s future.

Maaori comprise around 20 percent of Hamilton’s residents and it is estimated that 40 percent of those identifying as Maori are from hapu with close ties to the Hamilton area.

Hamilton has one of the fastest growing urban Maaori populations.

Council has an important role in supporting its local communities, including working to improve the opportunities for Maaori to contribute in decision-making and playing an active role in the city’s development.

Council recognises Maaori as tangata whenua (indigenous people of the land) with kaitiakitanga (guardianship) status and ownership rights regarding their lands and that Maaori are assured the same rights as other citizens.

The Local Government Act 2002 reinforces the importance of continuing to foster such relationships, the necessity of good communication and the value of Maaori heritage and values in New Zealand’s progress as a distinctive nation. 

Council Relationship with Waikato-Tainui

Te Whakawhanaunga o Te Kaunihera ki te Roopu Whakahaere o Waikato-Tainui

Council continues to develop its partnership with the Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Incorporated (previously known as the Waikato Raupatu Trustee Company Ltd) – the iwi authority representing Waikato-Tainui across the Waikato Region.

The Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Incorporated is the principal constitutional and legally mandated local iwi authority, encompassing some 33 hapu and 67 marae across several local authority boundaries.

Waikato-Tainui as a whole takes on the wider governance focus for its people, its tribal culture, education and social responsibility. 

Waikato Raupatu Claims Settlements Act 1995

Te Whakatutuki mo nga Take Raupatu a Waikato

The Waikato River claim (being part of Wai 30) dated 16 March 1987 was filed in the Waitangi Tribunal by Robert Te Kotahi Mahuta on behalf of himself, Waikato-Tainui, the Tainui Maaori Trust Board and Ngaa Marae Toopu.

In 1995, the Raupatu Lands component of the claim was settled. The Waikato Raupatu Claims Settlement Act 1995 gave effect to a Deed of Settlement between the Crown and Waikato-Tainui dated 22 May 1995. 

The components in this Act which are of significance to the Council include:
  • Return of Lands
    Certain lands within the Hamilton City boundary were returned to Waikato-Tainui to be held in the name of Potatau Te Wherowhero. These lands included only properties which were under existing Crown ownership such as the University of Waikato,Te Rapa Airforce base, Hamilton Court House and Police Station. 
  • Right of First Refusal
    The Crown also agreed as a form of redress a right of first refusal over Residual Crown Land. This applies to all Crown bodies including Hamilton City Council. Therefore the Council when proposing to sell any Residual Crown Land must give notice to Waikato-Tainui of the proposed sale with proposed terms. This process acknowledges the principle ‘i riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai’, meaning ‘as land was taken, land must be returned’.

This settlement excluded the Waikato River claim, the West Coast Harbours and certain landblocks in north Waikato.

The Waikato River - Deed of Settlement

Te Whakataunga mo te Awa o Waikato

Waikato-Tainui regard the Waikato River as te tupuna awa (the ancestral river), representing the mana (authority) and mauri (life force) of the iwi. These values are paralleled by the very significant value the wider community places on the Waikato River as both a defining feature and critical resource for Hamilton.

Consequently the overarching purpose for Waikato-Tainui and the Hamilton City Council is the protection and restoration of the health and well-being of the river.

A Deed of Settlement for the Waikato River Claim between Waikato-Tainui and the Crown was signed in August 2008 and is ushering in a new era of ‘co-management’ as well as providing opportunities to improve the health and well-being of the Waikato River.

On 12th February 2012 both Waikato-Tainui and the Hamilton City Council entered a Joint Management Agreement. The Joint Management Agreement provides for an enduring relationship through a shared exercise of functions, duties and powers that give effect to the overarching purpose to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations.

In working together under the Joint Management Agreement, both Waikato-Tainui and the Hamilton City Council will;
a) Commit to work together in good faith and in the spirit of co-operation;
b) Commit to open, honest and transparent communication;
c) Recognise and acknowledge that the parties will benefit from working together by sharing their respective vision, knowledge and expertise
d) Ensure early engagement;
e) Recognise that the relationship between both parties will evolve;
f) Recognise that co-management operates within statutory frameworks that must be complied with; and
g) Commit to meeting statutory timeframes, and minimizing delays and costs associated with those statutory frameworks.

To this end Council is continuing to work with Waikato-Tainui to develop appropriate projects and processes that contribute to realising the vision for the Waikato River.

Partnership and Service Agreements

Nga Hononga me nga Whakatairanga a Te Kaunihera

To assist in delivering services to Maaori, Council currently has specific partnership and service agreements with: 

  • Te Haa o te whenua o Kirikiriroa (THaWK) - an iwi group representing local mana whenua (Maaori with historic ties to the Hamilton/Kirikiriroa area) on issues relating to the management of Hamilton’s natural and physical resources.
  • Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa (TeROK) – an urban iwi authority representing maataa waka (Maaori/Pacific from other areas) on the impact of Council policies. Te Runanga provides a range of services, support, advice, and technical expertise that assist Council to meet the needs of the Maaori community in Hamilton.

These partnerships and agreements ensure mana whenua perspectives and maataa waka views are represented in decisions about the city, its community capacity and natural and physical resources.

Page reviewed: 21 Sep 2021 12:52pm