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Mana Whakahono a Rohe

The Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 has made significant amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991 that largely came into force on 19 April 2017. Of particular importance to Māori is the iwi participation arrangements under the new name – Mana Whakahono a Rohe (MWR) (s 58L to 58U).

What are Mana Whakahono a Rohe?

MRW are written agreements between iwi authorities and local government about how iwi will participate in local government decisions. This can include involvement with preparation, change or review of a policy statement or plan. These agreements are not limited between just one iwi and local government - multiple groups can be party to an agreement.

What is the purpose of Mana Whakahono a Rohe (s58M)?

The purpose of MWR is two-fold:

  1. To provide a mechanism for iwi authorities and local authorities to discuss, agree, and record ways in which tangata whenua may participate in resource management and decision-making processes under the RMA; and

  2. To assist local authorities to comply with their obligations under the RMA.

What are the guiding principles (s58N)?

The guiding principles are as follows:

  1. to achieve the purpose of the Mana Whakahono a Rohe in an enduring manner:

  2. to enhance the opportunities for collaboration amongst the participating authorities, including by promoting—

  3. the use of integrated processes:

  4. co-ordination of the resources required to undertake the obligations and responsibilities of the parties to the Mana Whakahono a Rohe:

  5. in determining whether to proceed to negotiate a joint or multi-party Mana Whakahono a Rohe, to achieve the most effective and efficient means of meeting the statutory obligations of the participating authorities:

  6. to work together in good faith and in a spirit of co-operation:

  7. to communicate with each other in an open, transparent, and honest manner:

  8. to recognise and acknowledge the benefit of working together by sharing their respective vision and expertise:

  9. to commit to meeting statutory time frames and minimise delays and costs associated with the statutory processes:

  10. to recognise that a Mana Whakahono a Rohe under this subpart does not limit the requirements of any relevant iwi participation legislation or the agreements associated with that legislation.

How are Mana Whakahono a Rohe initiated (s58O, s58P)?

An iwi authority or local government can initiate a MWR with one another, at anytime other than in the period that is 90 days before a local body election.

What is the timeframe for concluding Mana Whakahono a Rohe (s58Q)?

Following hui for initiating MWR, negotiations must be concluded within 18 months unless all parties agree otherwise.

What is included in a Mana Whakahono a Rohe (s58R)?

MWR agreements must be in writing and the identity of the participating authorities are clear.

The MWR must record the agreement of the participating authorities about—

(i) how an iwi authority may participate in planning processes; and (ii) how the participating authorities will undertake consultation; and (iii) how the participating authorities will work together to develop and agree on methods for monitoring; and (iv) how the participating authorities will give effect to Treaty settlements; and (v) a process for identifying and managing conflicts of interest; and (vi) the process that the parties will use for resolving disputes.

Other matters under s58R(4)(a)-(e) may also be included:

(a) how a local authority is to consult or notify an iwi authority on resource consent matters, where the Act provides for consultation or notification; (b) the circumstances in which an iwi authority may be given limited notification as an affected party; (c) any arrangement relating to other functions, duties, or powers under this Act; (d) if there are 2 or more iwi authorities participating in a Mana Whakahono a Rohe, how those iwi authorities will work collectively together to participate with local authorities; (e) whether a participating iwi authority has delegated to a person or group of persons (including hapū) a role to participate in particular processes under this Act.

The content and form will differ for each MWR due to their differing goals and needs. The hui negotiations will give both sides the opportunity to flesh out their aims and expectations and work collaboratively to ensure the MWR is in line with that narrative.

How are disputes dealt with (s58S)?

If a dispute arises during the course of negotiations, the parties may undertake dispute resolution at their own cost. If the dispute remains unresolved, the participating authorities may individually or jointly seek the assistance of the Minister. The Minister may appoint a Crown facilitator or direct the parties to use a particular alternative dispute resolution process.

How are Mana Whakahono a Rohe reviewed and monitored (s58T)?

The MWRR is reviewed and monitored in two ways:

  1. To ensure that local authorities are meeting their obligations under the MWR, they must review their policies and processes no later than 6 months after the date of the MWR unless a later date is agreed by both parties.

  2. Every six years, the parties must jointly review the effectiveness of the MWR, having regard to the purpose section (s58M) and the guiding principles (s58N).

What is Mana Whakahono a Rohe relationship with iwi participation legislation (s58U)?