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Authority celebrates Kaituna River Document

File photo.

The new Kaituna River Document has been launched and celebrated by Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority.

Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority Chairman Dean Flavell says the Kaituna River and its tributaries are considered taonga (treasures) by both iwi and the community and are valued resources for the Bay of Plenty.

“Many people and organisations are investing a significant amount of time, effort and money over the coming 10 years to help care for the land, water and wildlife in the Kaituna catchment and Maketū Estuary.

“This document will guide local government, iwi and the wider community in their work together to protect and preserve the Kaituna River and its tributaries. It represents a culmination of input from the Kaituna community,” says Dean.

The document, Kaituna, he taonga tuku iho - a treasure handed down, is an outcome of the Tapuika Claims Settlement Act 2014.

It sets out an iwi and community vision, objectives and desired outcomes for the Kaituna River and its tributaries. The document will influence councils’ planning documents and local government decisions relevant to the awa (river).

Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority members signed nine copies of the document at Moko Marae in Te Puke on Friday.

Copies of the document were then handed back to the partner iwi and councils behind the creation of the document.

The document's launch completes a historic full circle including the signing of the Tapuika Deed of Settlement in 2012 and the enacting of the Tapuika Claims Settlement Act in 2014 through which the Crown acknowledged that the waterways which Tapuika live beside and cherish (the Kaituna River) had been degraded.

Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority was established out of the Act and is made up of five iwi and four councils. The Act also directed the production of The Kaituna River Document as a tool to empower local iwi and councils to work together to guide the better care of the awa and its tributaries.

Dean says there is more work for everybody to do to secure the health and mauri of the Kaituna.

“The time to act is now, if we are going to pass on a clean healthy Kaituna River to our mokopuna (grandchildren),” he says.

Now that the Kaituna River Document has been launched, Te Maru o Kaituna will be developing an action plan for iwi, hapū, local government and the wider community to deliver on the common vision, objectives and desired outcomes set through the document.

The action plan will prioritise the collective actions of Te Maru o Kaituna partners and other responsible entities to restore protect and enhance the Kaituna River and its tributaries for the future.

Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority wishes to acknowledge and thank everyone who took the time to have their say, both in written submissions and at the hearing for the Kaituna River Document.

Te Maru o Kaituna will be hosting a public celebration later in the year, to register interest email info@kaituna.org.nz. To find out more about Te Maru o Kaituna or to view the document visit www.kaituna.org.nz.

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