Awarua banner image

A celebration of a partnership signed today

Thursday 9 December 2021

There was a celebration in Council Chambers this morning as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Te Aitanga ā Hauiti and Council.

The MoU cements a partnership between the parties in ongoing work to test and measure the quality and quantity of underground water in the Ūawa Hikuwai Catchment (the Tolaga Bay Flats). It is called the Ūawa Scientific Bore Drilling Project and started on July 1 2020.

This MoU set the processes for how Council and Te Aitanga ā Hauiti Mana Kaitieki will work closely together within the taiao (environmental) space and includes the Government’s Te Mana o Te Wai principles.

Mayor Rehette Stoltz is proud of how the team worked in true partnership with Te Aitanga ā Hauiti representatives in developing the MoU together.

“This MoU will guide both parties in future engagements, initiatives and pathways that best protect and serve the future of Te Aitanga ā Hauiti and the community of Ūawa/Tolaga Bay, beginning with the Ūawa Scientific Bore Drilling Project.

“It has helped develop and strengthen the relationship with Te Aitanga ā Hauiti Mana Kaitieki, a collective of representatives from each of the seven Marae of Te Aitanga ā Hauiti, and Council.”

This project also helps Council meet the requirements of the National Policy Statement (NPS), to measure the quality and quantity of the freshwater above and underground in Tairāwhiti.

There have been additional benefits too.

“Children from Kura/schools and marae and hapū members have taken part by helping with samples and record keeping.

“Council and our contractors have also learned about the cultural significance of the Ūawa rohe and sites of significance for the Iwi which was truly invaluable and enlightening.”

Mayor Stoltz says at the completion of this project Iwi and Council will both have a record of groundwater, and the lithology (study of rocks), of the Tolaga Bay basin.

“On behalf of the Council’s project team, we would like to give special mention to the late Ngahuia Ngata who passed away recently. Ngahuia was a great advocate for ngā whānau whanui o Te Aitanga ā Hauiti, through Te Whare Hauora o Te Aitanga ā Hauiti and was a key iwi representative who saw value and vision in developing key relationships through this project.

“We would like to acknowledge Kōkā Anne McGuire for her historical knowledge on the areas within Ūawa, which was invaluable, and for her guidance.

“It is also appropriate to acknowledge the Hauiti Incorporation and the proprietors of Katere-Lockwood for their support with logistical operations and land access. We couldn’t have achieved this outcome without you all.

“Lastly we would like to acknowledge Te Aitanga ā Hauiti Mana Kaitieki, for your trust and perseverance to ensure yourselves, as representatives for your marae, and most importantly ngā marae whānau and hapū fully understood the purpose of the project while supporting Council with the inclusion of cultural parameters and safeguards around the project.”

Te Rawheoro Marae Governance representative Tautini Glover says this MoU is only one of the steps in moving forward, and to keep moving forward.

“It is vital for the flourishing of our future, to continue the work and vision that Ngahuia planted for us.”