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Kotahi Sites & Areas of Significance to Māori

What we know about sites and areas of significance to Māori

Archaeological sites, and sites of significance to Māori have often not been well protected. This has resulted in them being destroyed or damaged by economic development, land use practices, erosion, and natural progression.  

Many places remain as just a marker of association of a place that once formed a pattern of migration and settlement of pre-indigenous Māori. This is partly due to a lack of publicly available information about these sites, where what is not known cannot be protected. There is potential in how these resources are identified and managed.  

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Kotahi & Sites and areas of Significance to Māori

Recognising and providing for the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, wāhitapu and other taonga, is a matter of national importance under the Resource Management Act. It is now considered appropriate to give recognition to the particular significance and meaning that taonga – including areas, places, landscapes and resourcescan have to tangata whenua. The relationship of tangata whenua with their ancestral rohe should be maintained or enhanced through the protection, maintenance or enhancement of Māori cultural landscapes. 

As referenced in the Historic and Cultural Values, Natural Character, Natural Features and Landscapes fact sheet, there are known issues around intellectual property rights, public use of information and identification of sites of cultural value for iwi/Māori, management of information, tikanga and kawa.  

There is an opportunity to develop specific policy in Kotahi regarding how sites and areas of significance to Māori in TeMatau-a-Māui could be identified and protected, where appropriate and where tangata whenua wish to do so. 

When reviewing other regions in relation to this topic it was found that the general approach taken was to include policies and objectives in the Regional Policy Statement requiring relevant city and district councils to identify where appropriatesites and areas of significance to Māori and provide for their protection through rules in their own respective district plansShould a similar approach be chosen for Kotahi it would require coordination with the city and district councils in Hawke’s Bay 


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