Engaging with mana whenua about a resource consent application

You may need to consult with local iwi if your resource consent application affects a site of significance or is within a Statutory Acknowledgement Area.

Protecting our history and environment

The Resource Management Act (RMA) recognises that Māori have a special cultural and spiritual relationship with the environment and a role in helping safeguard it on behalf of all New Zealanders.

When we consider a resource consent application, we need to recognise and provide for the relationship of Māori to their:

  • wāhi tapu (sacred sites)
  • taonga (treasures)
  • water
  • ancestral lands
  • significant sites.

You may need to consider these relationships and values in your resource consent application.

Wellington’s mana whenua

Mana whenua are Māori who have tribal links to Te Whānganui a Tara, Wellington.

Mana whenua interests in Wellington are represented by:

  • Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Incorporated who represent Ngāti Toa
  • Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust who represent Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika a Maui.

For some projects, you may need to consult with both iwi.

When to consult with mana whenua

You'll need to consult with mana whenua if your resource consent proposal:

  • might affect a site of significance, and/or
  • is located within a Port Nicholson or Ngāti Toa Statutory Acknowledgement Area.

Check if your proposal affects a site of significance

Who to consult with

The Tira Poutama-Iwi Partnerships team can advise which iwi to consult with. Email TiraPoutama@wcc.govt.nz or phone 04 803 8149.

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira

Phone: 04 238 4952
Email: turi.hippolite@ngatitoa.iwi.nz
Website: ngatitoa.iwi.nz
Postal address: PO Box 50355, Takapuwahia, Porirua 5022
Street address: 2/4 Nohorua Street, Takapuwahia, Porirua 5022

Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust

Phone: 04 472 3872
Email: reception@portnicholson.org.nz
Website: portnicholson.org.nz
Postal address: PO Box 12164, Thorndon, Wellington 6144
Street address: Tramways Building, 1–3 Thorndon Quay, Thorndon, Wellington 6011

Preparing for the consultation

When approaching mana whenua to consult over a proposal, you'll be expected to:

  • give them access to all relevant consent information
  • be willing to meet face-to-face
  • respect their views.

Mana whenua have the right to:

  • declare their interests in an application
  • make submissions on a notified application and be heard at a hearing.

Your proposal is assessed by tribal authorities

After considering your proposal, tribal authorities will advise on an appropriate approach – either an "accidental discovery" consent condition, or a cultural impact assessment (CIA).

Accidental discovery condition

This ensures that the correct procedures are followed if any artefacts of archaeological significance are uncovered during earthworks

Cultural impact assessment (CIA)

A CIA is a report prepared by the tribal authority (or their nominee). It documents mana whenua cultural values, interests and associations with an area or natural resource.

A CIA is expert advice on how a proposal might impact on cultural heritage – it's not approval for your consent. The Council will take the CIA into account when considering your application.

Benefits of getting a CIA – even if you don't need one


Engagement will allow you and the Council to be informed about mana whenua views. Engagement doesn't require agreement, but under the RMA you are obliged to report the outcomes of your consultation.

If mana whenua have concerns that cannot be resolved, and you want to proceed with your application, you must demonstrate you have made a genuine attempt to engage openly and honestly.

What it costs

Tribal authorities or their delegates may request a fee to cover:

  • engagement costs
  • any marae costs if you meet at a marae.

We recommend you discuss potential costs at the beginning of the engagement process, and ask for a fee schedule and cost estimate.

Need help?

If you have any questions about the correct procedures or who to engage with contact the Tira Poutama-Iwi Partnerships team or the Resource Consents team.

Tira Poutama-Iwi Partnerships
Phone: 04 803 8149

Resource Consents
04 801 3590
Email: planning@wcc.govt.nz