Call for Maori values to be part of FEPs

Rongowhakaata iwi wants council to consult on farm environment plans

Rongowhakaata iwi wants council to consult on farm environment plans

Stock photo

AN IWI group is pushing for tangata whenua values to be included in the development of farm environment plans. Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust made the suggestion during a lengthy submission at the water quality hearing on the district’s freshwater plan.

Representative Te Rina Whaanga said the iwi wanted to work with the council to create a resource on tangata whenua values to use in developing farm environment plans, or FEPs. The resource would be general, to give an overview, but farmers would need to consult with appropriate tangata whenua when developing specific plans.

Commissioner Peter Callander asked for clarification over what tangata whenua values were and how these could be identified by farmers. Iwi trustee Jody Wyllie said Rongowhakaata were in an appropriate position to provide that help.

“Gisborne District Council brings in consultants for other areas; why not this too? There are specific culturally important sites to us. We are the experts on that. We are the ultimate filter. It has got to go through us culturally to make sure it aligns.”

Council strategic planning manager David Wilson said the council was already looking at developing such a resource with Rongowhakaata, and it would be beneficial for farmers and council staff alike.

Rather than only applying to intensive farms, Rongowhakaata representative Murray Palmer said they wanted the FEPs to apply to “all land use activities where potential effects were less than minor”. They felt similar plans should also apply to plantation forest management and activities in urban areas because of their environmental effects . . . “to be fair to farmers”.

Rongowhakaata representatives further emphasised the importance of protecting mauri (essential quality and vitality of a being or entity) and water quality, and submitted that the plan needed provisions for it added into sections. Examples of accounting for mauri include policies in the plan that encourage wastewater to be discharged to land rather than other water bodies. Rongowhakaata supported the use of wetlands for this purpose.

Mr Callander asked for further clarification around how protecting mauri could be addressed and how to define it. Ms Whaanga said they were working through it in the managed aquifer recharge trial process, which would guide their application in the plan.

AN IWI group is pushing for tangata whenua values to be included in the development of farm environment plans. Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust made the suggestion during a lengthy submission at the water quality hearing on the district’s freshwater plan.

Representative Te Rina Whaanga said the iwi wanted to work with the council to create a resource on tangata whenua values to use in developing farm environment plans, or FEPs. The resource would be general, to give an overview, but farmers would need to consult with appropriate tangata whenua when developing specific plans.

Commissioner Peter Callander asked for clarification over what tangata whenua values were and how these could be identified by farmers. Iwi trustee Jody Wyllie said Rongowhakaata were in an appropriate position to provide that help.

“Gisborne District Council brings in consultants for other areas; why not this too? There are specific culturally important sites to us. We are the experts on that. We are the ultimate filter. It has got to go through us culturally to make sure it aligns.”

Council strategic planning manager David Wilson said the council was already looking at developing such a resource with Rongowhakaata, and it would be beneficial for farmers and council staff alike.

Rather than only applying to intensive farms, Rongowhakaata representative Murray Palmer said they wanted the FEPs to apply to “all land use activities where potential effects were less than minor”. They felt similar plans should also apply to plantation forest management and activities in urban areas because of their environmental effects . . . “to be fair to farmers”.

Rongowhakaata representatives further emphasised the importance of protecting mauri (essential quality and vitality of a being or entity) and water quality, and submitted that the plan needed provisions for it added into sections. Examples of accounting for mauri include policies in the plan that encourage wastewater to be discharged to land rather than other water bodies. Rongowhakaata supported the use of wetlands for this purpose.

Mr Callander asked for further clarification around how protecting mauri could be addressed and how to define it. Ms Whaanga said they were working through it in the managed aquifer recharge trial process, which would guide their application in the plan.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you support the recent pay equity deal for aged care and disability support staff?