New Bill Collison Course with Waikato Settlement Legislation

Friday, 8 March 2024

Waikato-Tainui will be taking a detailed look at how the government’s proposed fast track Consenting Bill to ensure it complies with provisions in our settlement legislation.

Te Ture Whaimana, is a key mechanism of the Waikato River Settlement and has been recognised as the primary direction-setting document for the fast-track consent process as it relates to the Waikato and Waipaa Rivers.

Te Arataura Chair Tuku Morgan says, “The recognition of Te Ture Whaimana in this bill is critical to achieving the overarching purpose of our settlement, restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of our river for future generations which includes all members of our community.”

“Our settlement contains a number of other mechanisms including the recognition of our ability to exercise our rights and responsibilities of mana whakahaere in our tribal region.

“Waikato-Tainui wants concrete assurances the new Bill’s provisions will not impact the effectiveness of the iwi’s ability to make decisions in our rohe, particularly as it relates to improving our environment.

The Prime Minister Chris Luxon says nothing in the new legislation will affect current treaty settlement commitments and that parallel engagement to refine aspects of the process will be improved.

“My expectation is that he seeks direct feedback from us on these matters immediately,” says Tuku.

“We absolutely agree that there ought to be efficiencies in major infrastructure projects to lift productivity in the regions but the integrity of our treaty settlements or our environment cannot be collateral damage once the execution phase rolls out.

“Our Commercial arm Tainui Group Holdings is one of the largest developers in the Waikato region but we also have responsibilities to ensure the health and wellbeing of our wai and our whenua are protected, so it’s critical that we get the balance right,” says Tuku Morgan