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New appointees oversee Hawke's Bay environment

RPC cochairs

Hinga atu he tetekura, hara mai he tetekura – A new fern frond replaces the old.

The face of environmental co-governance in Hawke’s Bay, Te Matau a Māui, is changing as new tāngata whenua representatives come to the table.

The Regional Planning Committee at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has the hefty task of managing natural resources, specifically the region's air, land, water, and coastal marine environments. 

This week the Regional Planning Committee welcomed a new co-chair and three new tāngata whenua members, taking the place of three long-serving Māori members.

The Regional Council is strengthening environmental co-governance arrangements in its work to protect and enhance the region’s vitally important waterways. One big task immediately ahead is to develop new freshwater plans to be drafted and publicly notified by the end of 2024.

Apiata Tapine of Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa was voted into the position of Regional Planning Committee co-chair, alongside Regional Council chair and councillor Rick Barker. Allana Hiha of Mana Ahuriri Trust shares the committee deputy co-chair role with councillor Will Foley.

Additionally, Laura Kele and Keri Ropiha have both joined the committee representing Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust, while Theresa Thornton represents Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust.

Regional Planning Committee co-chair Apiata Tapine says, “For tangata whenua, protecting and restoring our precious taonga of freshwater for the benefit of everyone is an urgent priority and so we welcome our new Committee members to assist in this mahi.” 

Regional council chair Rick Barker says, “I look forward to us all working together as a team to address the three biggest environmental issues for our region – climate change, freshwater and biodiversity. We need to make progress and achieve improvements. The vehicle for this will be our Kotahi Plan, which will set rules and minimum standards for water use in our region.”

The Kotahi Plan stretches into all aspects of the environment including freshwater, soil management, the coastal and marine area, biodiversity, natural hazards and risks, climate change, energy, transport, and infrastructure.

The Regional Planning Committee includes an equal number of Regional Councillors and Post Settlement Governance Entity (PSGE) representatives, making a committee of up to 18. A PSGE is the entity that manages Treaty of Waitangi settlement assets on behalf of iwi claimant groups.

These changes to the Regional Planning Committee follow the recent passing of Peter Paku of Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust, and the stepping down of the previous co-chair Liz Munroe of Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust, and Tania Huata of Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust.

More info at, search: #regionalplanning

16 February 2022

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