Planning to develop land returned under Treaty settlement in Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand : an institutional ethnography : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Health at Massey University, SHORE & Whāriki Research Centre, Aotearoa New Zealand

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This research investigates planning to develop land returned as settlement for breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi). Using institutional ethnography methodology, I explore a case study of the relationship between an iwi authority, Te Whakakitenga o Waikato, and a local authority, Hamilton City Council. In 1995, significant areas of land were returned to Waikato-Tainui through Treaty settlement. This research focuses on processes to develop planning regulation for land owned by Waikato-Tainui at Te Rapa, site of ‘The Base’ retail development and Te Awa shopping mall, and Ruakura where an inland port and associated activities are proposed. Iwi planning documents describe a vision to develop land returned under Treaty settlement. Commercial property development to regain ‘economic sovereignty’ is a critical element in the ‘integrated development agenda’ for Waikato-Tainui. However, critical discourse analysis and intertextual analysis illustrate that this vision is not well-reflected in local government planning documents. Relations between Hamilton City Council and Waikato-Tainui have changed from generally adversarial in 2009 during planning processes to restrict development at Te Rapa through Variation 21, to more collaborative during planning processes to approve the Ruakura Plan Change in 2014. Complementing data from interviewing practitioners with analysis of texts created through these planning processes, I consider control, timing, and trust as key factors in this changing relationship. This research provides evidence for dual planning traditions in Aotearoa New Zealand. Communal ownership of land and inalienability are characteristics of land returned under Treaty settlement which have influenced development decisions made by Waikato-Tainui. Planners and the planning profession can ‘transform’ planning practices to create new relationships between local government and iwi authorities. Interviews suggest that crosscultural planning can be a challenging and emotional experience. Iwi planning documents articulate a vision for future relationships based on mana whakahaere (affirming Māori authority) and mātauranga Māori (valuing Māori knowledge). In response, I highlight the need for changes to the New Zealand Planning Institute Code of Ethics to support planners working to decolonise planning. I conclude by ‘mapping’ the institution of planning for Treaty settlement land, and identifying levers which planners can use to support Māori goals for land development and economic self-determination.
Land use, Planning, Tainui, Claims, Land tenure, Government relations, City planning, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand, Maori, Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences