Te Mana o Te Awa
The relationship and respect Waikato-Tainui has for the Waikato River, lies at the heart of its spiritual and physical wellbeing , and its tribal identity and culture. This gives rise to Waikato-Tainui responsibilities to protect Te Mana o Te Awa and to exercise Mana Whakahaere over the Awa. This is in accordance with long established tikanga and kawa to ensure the wellbeing of the river.
On 22 August 2008, a Deed of Settlement was signed between Waikato-Tainui negotiators and the New Zealand Government. The Waikato River Settlement is unique in its focus on the sole beneficiary of the Settlement, being the awa itself and its health and wellbeing through a regime of co-management instruments at the highest level of statutory recognition. This panel will discuss the three pillars of the Settlement (Te Mana o Te Awa, Mana Whakahaere and the Vision-Strategy/Te Ture Whaimana give practical expression, through Joint Management Agreements with territorial and regional councils and Accords with government agencies. The effectiveness of these instruments of co-management for the improvement and sustained health and wellbeing of the Waikato River are assessed as a requirement of the Waikato River Settlement and it’s legislation.