Engaging with mana whenua

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 with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu (sacred areas) and other taonga (treasures). You may need to consider these relationships and values in your application.

Wellington’s mana whenua

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

  • Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Incorporated who represents Ngāti Toa
  • Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust who represents 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

The district plan has provisions for considering mana whenua interests and values in a resource consent proposal.

A consultation with mana whenua is needed when a resource consent proposal:

If your proposal falls within one of these categories, our Treaty Relations team can advise which iwi to consult with. Email treaty.relations@wcc.govt.nz or phone (04) 803 8149.

After considering your proposal, tribal authorities will advise whether an accidental discovery condition is appropriate or a more thorough assessment by way of a Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) is needed.

  • The accidental discovery condition ensures that the correct procedures are followed if any artefacts of archaeological significance are uncovered during earthworks.
  • A CIA is a report the tribal authority (or their nominee) prepares which documents mana whenua cultural values, interests and associations with an area or natural resource. These assessments are not about approval – they constitute expert advice on how a proposal might impact on cultural heritage. The Council will take that expertise into account when considering your application, and the Council makes the decision.

Benefits of engaging with mana whenua

Even if you don’t need a CIA, but you have proposal that is within a site of significance to tangata whenua or affects a statutory area you may decide to get one to:

  • understand your site’s history
  • understand the effects of your proposal on the relevant tribal authority
  • ensure the Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE), that accompanies your application, fully identifies and addresses any potential effects of your proposal on mana whenua
  • reduce the risk of processing delays or of appeals due to supplying an inadequate AEE.

Engagement expectations

When approaching mana whenua to consult over a proposal, they expect that:

  • they have access to all relevant consent information
  • there is a willingness to meet face-to-face
  • their views are respected
  • they have the right to:
    • decide what their interests in an application are, and declare those interests
    • make submissions on notified applications and be heard in support of those submissions.

Consultation costs

Tribal authorities or their delegates may request a fee to cover engagement costs, and if you meet on a local marae, iwi may expect you meet any marae costs as part of the consultation.

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

Who to contact

Remember, engagement does not require agreement, but under the RMA you are obliged to report the outcomes of your consultation.

Engagement will allow you and the Council to be informed about mana whenua views. If mana whenua concerns 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.

Iwi contact

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira

Phone 04 237 7922
Email runanga@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 pnbst.maori.nz/
Postal Address PO Box 12164, Thorndon, Wellington 6011
Street Address Tramways Building, 1-3 Thorndon Quay, Thorndon, Wellington 6011

More information

If you have any questions about the correct procedures or who to engage with, please contact:

Resource Consents

Phone 04 801 3590
Email planning@wcc.govt.nz

Treaty Relations

Phone 04 803 8149
Email treaty.relations@wcc.govt.nz
Fax 04 801 3124