The recently established Kāpiti Island Strategic Advisory Committee, comprising of Ngāti Toa Rangātira and Department of Conservation representatives, has commenced working together to guide the future management of the island.
As provided for in the Ngāti Toa Settlement of 2014, the Committee will have a focus on ensuring:
- taonga species on Kāpiti Island, flora and fauna, are protected and enhanced
- improved accessibility to parts of the island which have cultural and spiritual significance
- integrated approach to knowledge and learning, combining Mātauranga Māori and western science
- increased participation for Ngāti Toa iwi members in kaitiakitanga of Kāpiti Island.
It will also have oversight for the preparation and approval of a conservation management plan for the Kāpiti Island reserve sites.
The structure of the Committee also provides for other iwi to be included in the future, depending on the outcome of their Treaty Settlement negotiations.
“This Committee harnesses both Mātauranga Māori and Te Aō Pākehā’s conservation expertise to ensure Kāpiti’s unique natural environment is preserved for future generations,” says Miria Pomare, Committee Chair.
“While the island is managed as Nature Reserve under the Reserves Act 1977, it is important that Ngāti Toa is able to exercise their kaitiakitanga over the island” says DOC Partnerships Manager Paul McArthur.
The formation of the Kāpiti Island Strategic Advisory Committee has strengthened the relationship between Ngāti Toa Rangātira and DOC, and will enable a common vision to be developed for Kāpiti Island.
Kapiti Island Strategic Advisory Committee members (Graeme Hastelow Miria Woodbine Pomare Rob Stone and Barry Wards)