Date: 08 March 2012
Te Tapatoru a Toi, the first committee of its kind in New Zealand, continues to be a role model for future joint management of conservation land with the release of its Annual Plan for 2010/11.
Te Tapatoru a Toi was formed under the Ngati Awa Treaty Settlement in 2005, manages three nature reserves Moutohora Wildlife Management Reserve, Ohope Scenic Reserve and Tauwhare Pa Scenic Reserve in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
Relationships between Ngati Awa, the Crown and community are working co-operatively in joint management of these three iconic reserves says Deputy Chairman, John Hohapata-Oke.
“The Annual Plan to the Minister of Conservation and Te Runanga o Ngati Awa outlines the work, achievements and future opportunities for Te Tapatoru a Toi.”
“Te Tapatoru a Toi continues to strengthen its existing relationships with Ngati Awa, researchers, concessionaires, neighbouring landowners and local community recognising the value in new relationships and mutual benefits to the three reserves” says Mr Hohapata-Oke.
At the committee’s February meeting, East Coast Bay of Plenty Conservator, Mr Jan Hania representing Hon Kate Wilkinson, Minister of Conservation and Mr Joe Harawira a member of Te Runanga o Ngati Awa Board of Representatives received the annual plan.
Te Tapatoru a Toi (JMC) February meeting to receive Annual Plan
In accepting the plan, Mr Hania congratulated Te Tapatoru a Toi on behalf of the Minister of Conservation and the Department of Conservation (DOC) for their leadership and outcomes achieved.
“The three reserves are being well cared for under the guidance of a Joint Management Committee which represents local iwi, Crown and the wider community.”
“Other DOC areas and iwi would look at the ground-breaking work being achieved. The experiences and lessons learnt here for developing further partnerships in advancing conservation in a model such as the Te Tapu Tokotoru Conservation Management Plan which is successfully managing the three reserves, supporting successful translocation of kuia to Cape Kidnappers Preserve Trust and supporting the work of the Whakatane Kiwi Project in Ohope Scenic Reserve”, says Mr Hania.
The Committee was looking forward to the work ahead this year which includes the improved entrance and carpark development at Tauwhare Pa Scenic Reserve.
“It is quite timely we invest resources in upgrading the carpark and entranceway into this very important Scenic Reserve as it is the first major upgrade for a number of years” says Mr Hohapata-Oke.
The Ngati Awa Claims Settlement Act 2005 (NACSA) received assent on 24 March 2005. One of the treaty settlement cultural redress obligations is for a Joint Management Committee (JMC) which has a total of six members who include representatives nominated by the Department, independent nominations from the Ngati Awa governance entity, and a nomination from the East Coast Bay of Plenty Conservation Board. Te Tapatoru a Toi have strategic management, leadership and advisory functions in a range of interactions in relation to specified reserves areas recognised in the settlement legislation. Te Tapatoru a Toi have some express delegated powers under the Reserves Act 1977 (RA77). The first five year term of the committee ended on 31 October 2010.
Current members are: Te Kei Merito (Ngati Awa, Chairperson), John Hohapata-Oke (Ngati Awa, Deputy Chairperson), Rapata Kopae (Ngati Awa), Ron Russell, Hera Smith and Lynda Walter.
Te Tapatoru a Toi provides a vehicle for the Department with Ngati Awa and community representation to enhance co-operative conservation input and planning for these reserves. Another practical benefit of this initiative is that it complements and improves the extent of the Department's general treaty obligations (i.e. Section 4 of the Conservation Act 1987).
The inaugural JMC members decided to adopt an equivalent Māori title hence the name Te Tapatoru ā Toi (the triangle of Toi) with its vision being’ “The communities and agencies represented by Te Tapatoru ā Toi will cherish taonga entrusted to them and are working together for the preservation and protection of the natural and cultural values that make them significant”.
This JMC was the first of its kind to date to be formalised through a treaty settlement cultural redress obligation. It is an exciting opportunity for the future conservation management of reserves with significant ecological and cultural values. The JMC is providing a role model, experiences and lessons for future treaty claims redress options or other purposes where formal mechanisms of joint management of conservation land might be appropriate.
John Hohapata-Oke, Phone: +64 27 277 9911