Te Hihiri advisors Craig Pauling, Norm Hill and Nicole Hodgson have been appointed to the 2017 National Objectives Framework Iwi Science Panel – Te Kahu o Te Taiao, to assist in setting freshwater objectives as required under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS).
The panel will provide support in developing policy advice for the Iwi Advisors Group, which in turn reports to the Iwi Chairs Forum and the Ministry for the Environment.
To help ensure improved environmental outcomes in waterbodies, the NPS requires Councils to set objectives for the values considered important for each water catchment and set limits required to achieve those objectives, as well as to meet a set of compulsory national values-related objectives. A key component of the NPS is Te Mana o Te Wai, which is described in the NPS as:
“the integrated and holistic well-being of a freshwater body...[that] acknowledges and protects the mauri of water.… Te Mana o te Wai incorporates the values of tangata whenua and the wider community in relation to each water body…. [It] recognises the connection between water and the broader environment – Te Hauora o te Taiao (the health of the environment), Te Hauora o te Wai (the health of the waterbody) and Te Hauora o te Tangata (the health of the people).”
As part of the process following recent reforms of the NPS, the Iwi Advisors Group engaged a panel to undertake further development of cultural attributes for inclusion in the National Objectives Framework.
The panel will consider establishing compulsory value and associated attributes tables to achieve Te Mana o te Wai, in particular looking at mauri and mahinga kai. In considering this, the panel will look at existing monitoring tools and methods developed by iwi and hapū by which Te Mana o Te Wai can be assessed and measured and ways to appropriately incorporate Mātauranga Māori.
The panel will also review the proposed western science attributes and measures of the National Objectives Framework to ensure they reflect and support Te Mana o te Wai. It will report its findings in late 2017 and make recommendations on the work required of and support needed for both iwi and hapū, as well as councils, in assessing and measuring Te Mana o Te Wai.
Craig and Norm were nominated to the panel via their respective iwi – Ngāi Tahu and Waikato Tainui – while Nicole has been appointed as a rangatahi member.
29 September 2017