After a year of planning, a historic agreement was signed between iwi and local government on 17 January 2008 when Council granted Ngati Tuwharetoa decision-making powers in resource consent decisions - the first time a New Zealand local government has transferred powers to an iwi.
The Joint Management Agreement was finalised at Tapeka Marae in Waihi Village, the principal home of Ngati Tuwharetoa Paramount Chief Tumu te Heuheu. Mayor Rick Cooper signed alongside Dr te Heuheu, while New Zealand Governor-General Anand Satyanand witnessed the proceedings with other invited guests.
The agreement will see a joint committee established in which appropriately qualified iwi appointees will join councillors in resource consent and private plan hearings changes which apply to Maori multiple-owned freehold land. It is estimated that more than 50 per cent of the Taupo District's land area is owned by members of Ngati Tuwharetoa.
River Iwi Joint Management Agreements
Raukawa Settlement Trust
Council and Raukawa Settlement Trust have completed an agreement on the joint management arrangements in promoting restoration and protection of the Waikato River. The agreement is a requirement of section 43 of the Ngati Tuwharetoa, Raukawa and Te Arawa River Iwi Waikato River Act 2010.
The trustees of the Raukawa Charitable Trust and four elected members from Council signed the agreement on 5 September 2013. The agreement has marked a new and important stage in the relationship between Council and Raukawa.