Bay of Plenty Regional Council – First Mana Whakahono a Rohe invitation
In June 2017, Bay of Plenty Regional Council was the first local authority in the country to receive an iwi authority Mana Whakahono a Rohe invitation.
In April 2017 the National Government released a suite of changes to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Among those changes was a significant provision to enhance the participation of Maori in council decision-making enshrined in the legislation as Mana Whakahono a Rohe or Iwi Participation Agreements. Completion of these arrangements is mandatory should a local authority or regional council receive an invitation from an iwi authority.
Prior to the amendments, councils had the discretion to achieve what is now prescribed under legislation. MWR represents government’s intention to raise the profile of Maori participation in decision-making and to hold councils to account.
The purpose of a Mana Whakahono a Rohe is (section 58M):
- to provide a mechanism for iwi authorities and local authorities to discuss, agree and record ways in which tangata whenua may, through their iwi authorities, participate in resource management and decision-making processes under this Act; and
- to assist local authorities to comply with their statutory duties under this Act, including through the implementation of sections 6(e), 7(a) and 8.