Relationships with the environment for Ngati Hawea sit at the core of everyday living.
Everything is connected. The essence of this philosophy arises from whakapapa, mauri, mana
and tikanga. Practices based on an understanding of the environment have supported Ngati
Hawea in maintaining and sustaining whanau and communities for many centuries.
At present, key natural and physical resource management legislation define obligations and
relationships when working with Maori in this space. In Aotearoa New Zealand, the Local
Government Act 2002 and the Resource Management Act 1991 requires engagement and
capacity for Maori to contribute to the decision-making processes of any local authority in its
This project aims to contribute to the bigger picture around engagement with Maori, and
furthermore Maori-Council relationships. This project seeks how effective engagement brings
with it not only opportunities for Maori, hapu and local government players, but also the
different meanings and expectations that stakeholders bring to inclusive practices and the
implications for policy engagement. This study is interested in the processes by which Maori
and the Hawkes Bay Regional Council engage with each other, and examines the ways in
which natural resource management operations recognize and facilitate hapu values, interests
and aspirations under statute.
A Kaupapa Maori approach provided a vital lens as a methodological direction drawing upon
the synergies and critical qualitative methodologies in relation to creating culturally appropriate
research. I was able to explore the mechanisms of engagement and factors affecting the
recognition and facilitation of hapu values, rights, and interests aspirations in natural resource
management operations in Te matau a Maui tikitiki-a-Taranga. Responces shared by
participants in this study highlighted that the mechanisms the Hawkes Bay Regional Council
use to engage with Maori need to be reviewed and enhanced as there are issues related to
the recognition and integration of hapu values, rights, interests and aspirations in local
government resource management operations.
This Thesis offers recommendations to the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Ngati Kahungunu
Iwi Incoporated and Mana Whenua around the importance is recognising philosophical
ideologies around the ancestral relationship Maori have with the environment, which are key to
asserting hapu values, interests and aspirations over whenua and water. Furthermore, it offers
recommendations around effective and meaningful engagement with Maori, and the
recognition and facilitation of hapu values, rights, interests and aspirations in natural resource
management operations in Te Matau a Maui tikitiki-a-Taranga, Hawkes Bay.