Treaty of Waitangi
The Treaty of Waitangi sets New Zealand’s cultural context by formally recognising the unique relationship between Māori and the Crown. Through the Local Government Act 2002 and Resource Management Act 1991, there are statutory obligations conferred on local authorities to provide opportunities for Māori to contribute to the decision making processes of the local authority. Council must also consider ways in which it may foster the development of Māori capacity, to contribute to the decision-making process.
At a governance level, the Tauranga Moana and Te Arawa ki Tai Partnership Forum is a committee made up of iwi and hapū representatives and Western Bay of Plenty District Councillors and the Mayor. The purpose of the forum is to address issues of significance for Māori which it does through its strategic plan Te Ara Mua.
There are a number of mechanisms that provide for Māori input at an operational level. These include the Takawaenga Team (Māori engagement team), iwi/hapū management plans and partnering with Māori in co-governance and co-management arrangements.