Iwi/Māori Partnerships

The Treaty Partnership with Iwi/Māori

The Three Waters reforms will enable iwi/Māori to have greater strategic influence to exercise rangatiratanga over water services delivery, including through enhanced capacity and capability.

To achieve this, the NTU and LEEs will need to:

• ensure iwi/Māori are well supported to contribute to the new roles created through the reform process, including joint oversight of the water services entities, and exercising kaitiakitanga under the Te Mana o te Wai mechanisms;

• ensure the new water services entities are able to discharge the Crown’s Treaty obligations, and that they are well-informed and influenced by iwi/Māori – insofar as the entities and their boards will be required to give effect to Te Mana o te Wai, and understand, support and enable mātauranga Māori and tikanga Māori and kaitiakitanga to be exercised throughout their organisations, and when engaging with iwi/Māori.

The new system will allow the Crown to better recognise the holistic manner (environmental, cultural, spiritual, economic) in which water is viewed using Te Ao Māori perspectives and Te Mana o te Wai including ki uta ki tai or a catchment-based approach, consistent with rohe/takiwā or whakapapa links.

A Māori/Crown Relationship Lead will be appointed for each entity group. A secretariat within DIA will support their work. The role of these leads will be to act as a bridge between the NTU and the kaupapa Māori process within each entity and will be responsible to the Minister of Local Government and the Minister for Māori Crown Relations.

Financial support will be available to iwi to cover actual and reasonable expenses relating to their participation in transition, and to support iwi/Māori within each entity group to access expert advice.