Rangitāiki River Forum

Ngā Meneti

Open Minutes

Commencing:               Friday 3 September 2021, 10.30 am

Venue:                           Via Zoom (Audio Visual Meeting)

Heamana Tuarua

Deputy Chairperson:   Bronco Carson (Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare)

Ngā Kopounga

Members:                      Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Cr Bill Clark, Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti, Cr Stacey Rose,
Cr Kevin Winters

                                             Hineuru Iwi Trust

                                             Mei Winitana

                                             Taupō District Council

                                             Cr John Williamson, Cr Tangonui Kingi (Alternate)

Te Kotahitanga o Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Whakaeke Ritete

                                             Te Runanga o Ngāti Awa

                                             Miro Araroa, Tuwhakairiora O'Brien (Alternate)

                                             Te Runanga o Ngāti Manawa

                                             Karito Paul (Alternate)

Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua

Ngapera Rangiaho

Whakatane District Council

Cr Alison Silcock, Cr Wilson James (Alternate)

Te Hunga i Tae Ake

In Attendance:             Bay of Plenty Regional Council: Cr Andrew von Dadelszen, Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments, Kataraina O’Brien (Director Strategic Engagement), Nassah Rolleston-Steed (Principal Advisor, Policy & Planning), Anaru Vercoe (Pou Whainga – Principal Advisor), Gemma Moleta (Senior Planner (Water Policy), Ashleigh Grant (Kaikarere Communications Partner), Charles Harley (Team Leader Eastern Catchments), Kendall Smith (Land Management Officer), Glenn Ellery (Data Services Manager), Fiona Wood (Programme Coordinator Integrated Catchments), Mieke Kapa (Land Management Officer), Gina Mohi (Pūtaiao Mātauranga), Michelle Lee (Planner (Water Policy)

                                       Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa: Terewai Kalman (Board member), Maxeen Newton (Pou Taiao)

                                             Taupō District Council: Cornelia Dempsey (Co-Governance Manager), Dylan Tahau (Iwi & Co-Governance Manager)

                                             Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa: Michal Akurangi (Manager Taiao)

                                             Whakatāne District Council: Astrid Hutchinson

                                             External: Jen Spence, Annie Tangata (Trustpower Limited)

Ngā Hōnea

Apologies:                    Chair Maramena Vercoe (Te Runanga o Ngati Manawa)


1.     Karakia Whakatuwhera
Opening Karakia

A karakia was provided by Miro Araroa.

Mihi Whakatau

On behalf of the Forum, Miro Araroa provided a mihi of welcome to new appointed members from Taupō District Council, Cr John Williamson and Cr Tangonui Kingi (Alternate), which was supported by presiding Deputy Chair Bronco Carson.

2.     Ngā Hōnea


That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Accepts the apology from Maramena Vercoe tendered at the meeting.



3.     Whakapuakanga o Ngā Take Whai Taha-Rua
Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

4.     Ngā Meneti

Kia Whakaūngia Ngā Meneti
Minutes to be Confirmed


Rangitāiki River Forum Minutes - 4 June 2021



That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Confirms the Rangitāiki River Forum Minutes - 4 June 2021 as a true and correct record, subject to the following amendments:

·      Minute Item 6.1 Forum Members’ Verbal Updates:

o  Agenda page 12: Mei Winitana – Hineuru Iwi Trust - second bullet point: Remove reference to ‘Ngāti Tūwharetoa’.

o  Agenda page 13: Ngapera Rangiaho – Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua – amend first sentence, second bullet point to read: “Community drop-in sessions held at Waiohau Marae were kaupapa driven and held on a need to basis”. 



5      Whakahoutanga Kōrero
Verbal Updates


Forum Members' Verbal Updates


         Miro Araroa – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa

·      Acknowledged the recent passings of Ngāti Awa leader and kaumātua Dr Joe Mason, Ngāti Awa kaumātua Pairama Ranapia, and respected Tauranga Moana leader and kaumātua Dr Kihi Ngātai.

·      Chief Executive Officer Leonie Simpson had resigned from  her position, which was currently open for application.


         Cr Bill Clark – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

·      Sought an update on the installation proposal for toilet amenities on the east side of the Thornton river mouth. Member Miro Araroa responded advising that this matter was being followed up by Ngāti Awa alternate member Mr Tu O’Brien.


Karito Paul – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa

·      Toilet refuse and litter at Matahina Dam was getting out of control and needed to be addressed. Noted that this issue had been raised at a previous Forum meeting.


        Tu O’Brien (Alternate) – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa

·      Degradation of the environment on the eastern side of the Thornton river mouth was becoming an issue. Mr O’Brien had made an individual submission to the Whakatāne District Long Term Plan (LTP) but had not as yet received any feedback.


         Cr Wilson James – Whakatāne District Council

·      The LTP submission for installation of toilet amenities at Thornton river mouth was part of the Whakatāne District LTP.

·      Would make enquiries regarding the above matter and litter issues at Matahina Dam.


10.44 am - Cr Tangonui Kingi withdrew from the meeting.


         Mei Winitana – Hineuru Iwi Trust

·      Materoa Brenda Lewis had been appointed as Hineuru Iwi Trust’s alternate on the Forum. A letter of formal notification to the Forum would be forthcoming.

·      Ngāti Hineuru’s position on where it sat with the Forum would be articulated in a written statement in future.

·      Noted the contentious relationship held with Meridian Energy in relation to a windfarm that had been setup on the mountain range of Tītīokura.

·      Recently underwent a haerenga of places of interest/waahi tapu and streams that come from the mountain range that fed into Pouarua swamp at Matai Road, for which several iwi had interests. Looked forward to extending an invitation to the Forum in the near future to revisit those places of interest.


         Whakaeke Ritete – Te Kotahitanga o Ngāti Tūwharetoa Trust (TKNT)

·      Tauhara hapū had formed a good relationship with Contact Energy in relation to the development of the Tauhara geothermal power station. It was  anticipated to employ up to 500 people, with the first option going to tangata whenua. To date, 50 tangata whenua had been employed. A letter of intent was being considered to seek the return of the whenua at a future point in time.

·      Had contacted representatives of the East Taupō Lands Trust who had conveyed their interest in supporting a proposed Forum haerenga (field visit) to the source of the Rangitāiki awa.

·      Affected hapū of rangatira whenua were forming good relationships with Taupō developers who wished to implement tikanga/kawa into their development processes.




Inclusion of added Iwi Representation on the Rangitāiki River Forum

Mei Winitana, member for Hineuru Iwi Trust spoke to this item.


Key Points:

·      Ngāti Hineuru wished to seek inclusion of their association with the Rangitāiki awa within Te Ara Whānui o Rangitāiki (the River Document).

·      Recommended that the Rangitāiki River Forum prepare for Ngāti Hineuru’s inclusion in the River Document, and associated Members’ Guide and Standing Orders.

·      Noted that Ngāti Tūwharetoa (ki Taupō) and Ngāti Rangitihi (in the future) may potentially wish to seek the same inclusion.

·      A report would be provided to a future Forum meeting for consideration.

Key Points - Staff:

·      Principal Advisor Nassah Rolleston-Steed gave an overview of the processes for amending the River Document, as outlined on page 18 of the agenda.

·      Pages within the River Document had already been dedicated to iwi associations, and it would be fair and reasonable to include the associations of other iwi that had joined the Forum following the enactment of the Ngāti Manawa and Ngāti Whare Settlement Acts.

Key Points - Members:

·      Considered it would be a simple process to include and provide for iwi associations within the River Document.


Items for Staff Follow-Up:

·      Liaise with Mei Winitana regarding any advice or assistance needed with reporting and preparing an update to the River Document.

6.     Ngā Pūrongo

Ngā Whakatau e Hiahiatia Ana
Decisions Required


Membership Changes

Presented by:  Cornelia Dempsey, Co-Governance Manager, Taupō District Council

Key Points:

·      Cr John Williamson had been appointed as Taupō District Council’s primary member and Cr Tangonui Kingi as the alternate.

·      Cr Williamson provided background on his third term as a Taupō District councillor alongside Cr Kingi and his roles on Council: environmental portfolio, member of Te Kōpu ā Kānapanapa, and Co-Chair of Te Arawa River Iwi Trust (TARIT)/Taupō District Council Committee.

·      Looked forward to meeting members in person and contributing to the Forum.

·      Noted that Cr Kingi had been in attendance earlier at the meeting, but was experiencing issues with internet connectivity.



That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Receives the report, Membership Changes.

2         Confirms the appointments of Cr John Williamson and Cr Tangonui Kingi representing Taupō District Council, replacing existing members Cr Kylie Leonard and Cr Anna Park.





Participation of the RRF in the Essential Freshwater Policy Programme

Presentation - Participate Online Engagement – NPS-FM Values and Environmental Outcomes: Objective ID A3924434   

Website link: Mapping our treasured freshwater sites | Participate BOPRC

Anaru Vercoe presented the report, which was followed by a presentation from Gemma Moleta and Ashleigh Grant on the Regional Council’s Participate BOPRC online engagement tool for mapping freshwater sites and values.

Key Points:

·      Referred to the options outlined in the report and sought a decision on how the Forum may wish to participate in the Essential Freshwater Policy Programme (EFPP).

·      In response to the Forum Chair’s request for members’ feedback, one response had been received suggesting that the Forum collaborate with
Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority to consider common matters.

·      Tangata whenua had a distinct and crucial role to participate and identify Mātauranga, mahinga kai and associated tohu, which was separate to the Forum’s role to align participation with its purpose and functions.

·      In considering the participation options, the Forum would need to manage what was possible within its workload.

Key Points - Members:

·      Participation options should align with the purpose, vision and objectives of the River Document.

·      Regarding sub-regional hui, Ngāti Hineuru, Ngāti Whare and Ngāti Manawa had held informal discussions based on shared interests and whakapapa.

·      A level of confusion and frustration had arisen from two separate external workshops that had been held for tangata whenua by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) on the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM); and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) on the Three Waters reform. From a Maori perspective, Three Waters, NPSFM and Te Mana o te Wai (TMoTW) were interrelated, but were being dealt with in silos.

·      Suggested a Forum workshop co-facilitated by Regional Council staff, MfE and DIA representatives may help to clarify matters.

·      The Forum was in a unique position to bring iwi views together.  

·      Iwi had existing documents that may enhance understanding and relationships.

In Response to Questions - Staff:

·      Option B: establish and run workshops with tangata whenua on TMoTW and Mahinga Kai – may provide an opportunity for the Forum to hear tangata whenua views, gain understanding, connect and establish stronger relationships.

·      Option D: Participation in selection of hearing commissioner nominations (tangata whenua representative) – the Forum’s role could be to help facilitate the process, but would not override the recommendations of tangata whenua.

·      The NPSFM was being led by MfE and the Three Waters programme sat with the DIA. In addition, the Water Services Act had also raised a number of issues for tangata whenua. 

·      Suggested that staff provide clarity for the Forum on the NPSFM, Three Waters and TMoTW matters at a future workshop, and suggested that Council Chairman Doug Leeder, who sat on the national freshwater implementation group, may be able to provide further context and understanding.

Presentation – Participate BOPRC

Key Points:

·      Presented two online participation webpage tools that were now live and available to the wider community and tangata whenua to identify freshwater values that would help the National Objectives Framework vision, values, objectives, attributes and limit setting for the region’s freshwater management units.

·      A number of values had already been identified through past involvement of the Rangitāiki freshwater community group, Regional Policy Statement (RPS) Change 3 and iwi/hapū management plans, however the online participation tools allowed further input to be provided.

·      Information that was identified as sensitive could be withheld from public accessibility.

·      Kaupapa Māori page

o  Was dedicated to tangata whenua to identify and map freshwater values through a kaupapa Māori lens

o  Could be adjusted to reflect specific values

o  Required a link, password and completion of registration to access

o  Pages could be secured where data sovereignty wished to be maintained.

o  Online links were available to resources such as TMoTW, Te Hononga: Māori Regional Engagement Plan and Mātauranga Māori documents

o  Online engagement tool was an additional option under Te Hononga

o  Iwi members could contact Anaru Vercoe in the first instance, if interested in accessing the Kaupapa Māori page.

·      People could follow the pages to receive updates.

·      Nicola Green (Principal Advisor, Policy & Planning) would present to the Forum in the near future on how the River Document and Change 3 to the RPS could be incorporated into the vision requirements under the NPSFM.

·      Management of conflicting land values would be directed by the NPSFM.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·      Provide further information to Ngapera Rangiaho on the Participate online engagement pages.



That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Receives the report, Participation of the RRF in the Essential Freshwater Policy Programme;

2         Requests a dedicated workshop on Te Mana o Te Wai, and extends an invitation to Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder to attend and provide a national context/overview.




11:53 am – Cr Tangonui King entered the meeting.


11:54 – Whakaeke Ritete withdrew from the meeting.




Whakatāne District 2021 Representation Review

Presented by: Cindy Butt, Manager Governance Services | Tumu Mana Whakahaere

Key Points:

·      Provided an update on key changes that had been made by the Whakatāne District Council at its meeting on 17 August 2021:

o  A decision had been made on the names of the general wards (Rangitāiki, Whakatāne-Ōhope and Te Urewera) and Māori wards (Rangitaiki, Whakatāne -Ōhope and Toi ki Uta).

o  The following changes to general ward boundaries were proposed:

§  Area from Golf Links Road to Shaw Road to be transferred from the Rangitāiki general ward into Whakatāne-Ōhope general ward.

§  Southern part of the Rangitāiki general ward that included Te Mahoe Village was proposed to be transferred into the Te Urewera general ward.

·      The Rangitāiki Māori Ward and the Te Urewera sub-division of the Murupara Community Board did not comply with the legal requirement of population balance, therefore the Local Government Commission would make a decision on the proposal.

In Response to Questions:

·      Rationale regarding the composition of the proposed wards was balancing communities of interest and population criteria, as a requirement under the Local Electoral Act, noting the challenge of having large pockets of rural and conservation land in areas with little population.

·      Te Mahoe Village residents had not been consulted, but welcomed the opportunity to engage if there was interest from them.

·      Encouraged submissions to be made to the representation proposal, and for any concerns to be outlined.

12:05 pm – Cr Stacey Rose withdrew from the meeting.

Key Points - Members:

·      Te Mahoe residents primarily had whakapapa connections with Te Teko and may have an issue with the proposed boundary change.

·      Ngapera Rangiaho had been in contact and would be following up with the Chair of Te Mahoe Village Community Trust and village residents who were aware of the representation proposal.

·      Questioned whether a submission from the Forum on the representation review process was within the scope of the Forum’s purpose.



That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Receives the report, Whakatāne District 2021 Representation Review.



Hei Pānui Anake
Information Only


Rangitaiki Catchment Programme Reporting

Presentation - Upper Rangitaiki Focus Catchment Programme Update: Objective ID A3927446   

Charles Harley presented the report, followed by a presentation from Kendall Smith on the Upper Rangitāiki Focus Catchment Programme.

Key Points:

·      2021/2022 Annual Work Plan had been delayed due to the Councils’ Long Term Plan processes, for which programme budgets were now confirmed.

·      Presentation on the Upper Rangitāiki Focus Catchment Programme outlined the following:

o  Catchment summary and land use

o  Key issues: high nitrate, eutrophic levels and land erosion due to pumice soils which influence mobile nutrients into groundwater

o  Project progress report card for May 2021

§  Noted great uptake by landowners with significant investment going into environmental protection

§  2021-23 Work Plan was supported by substantial funding from Central Government.

o  Staff were working with farmers to assess nutrient losses, nitrogen reduction scenarios and how these would impact operations.

o  Next Steps:

§  Continue fencing waterways and wetlands, mitigating critical source areas (low land), implementing good management practices, help farmers understand the issues and mitigation, and develop long-term water quality data sets

§  Work with Regional Council science/policy teams to identify nitrogen reductions required

§  Would like to develop relationships with local iwi and hapū

Key Points - Members:

·      Noted the following reporting corrections:

o  2020-2021 Annual Report results and highlights (page 48 of the agenda) - Installation of the flying fox at the reserve at Lake Aniwaniwa had been funded by Holly’s Playground Committee and overseen by the Whakatāne District Council.

o  2020-2021 Annual Report (page 70 of the agenda) – Lake Aniwaniwa shade sails had been 50% funded by Holly’s Playground Committee.

o  2021-2022 Annual Work Plan (page 90 of the agenda)  - Lake Aniwaniwa regional playground facility was developed in conjunction with Holly’s Playground Committee (not the Galatea Reserves Committee); development of the walkway was being undertaken by the Galatea Trails Trust; and KPI/Deliverable fourth bullet point was in conjunction with Holly’s Playground Committee (not the Murupara Community Board).

·      Whakatāne District Council were liaising with the Department of Conservation in regards to a solution for toilet amenities on the eastern side of the Thornton river mouth, which was still a work in progress. Cr James would provide an update on this at the next Forum meeting.

·      Pest control and wetland restoration at Karamuramu wetland had seen positive results in the first year with regeneration of bird life. Commended the work being undertaken and the involvement of rangatahi/youth groups.

In Response to Questions - Staff:

·      Would follow-up with Whakatāne District Council staff regarding the reporting corrections for Lake Aniwaniwa.

·      Rangitāiki catchment fish surveys were on hold due to new NPSFM reporting requirements for ecosystems and habitats, which needed survey criteria to be re-grouped.

·      Staff were waiting for release of the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity to provide direction on future work.

·      Wallaby surveillance and control along the western river edge at Matahina was planned within the 2021/2022 annual work plan.

·      Nitrogen in the upper catchment was predominantly diffuse nitrate, which was difficult to pinpoint, therefore staff were targeting farm practices.

·      The cause of high eutrophic levels was from land use and free pumice soil, which posed a challenge for nitrogen reduction.

·      Eutrophic levels were often impacted by high nitrogen and phosphorus levels, which could also affect water quality downstream.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·      Provide a communication update on wallaby surveillance and control at Matahina.



That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Receives the report, Rangitaiki Catchment Programme Reporting.



7.     Whakaaturanga


BOPRC Environmental Data Portal Demonstration

Website link – https://www.boprc.govt.nz/environment/maps-and-data/environmental-data

Presented by: Glenn Ellery, Data Services Manager


12:47 pm – Cr Iti withdrew from the meeting.

Key Points:

·      Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s (BOPRC) Environmental Data Portal made data that was collected and held by BOPRC publicly available for use.

·      The portal followed Central Government open data standards and principles, met national data quality standards and had been designed to protect data where needed.

·      The home page provided a video on how to use the portal, along with frequently asked questions.

·      Data searches and sets of reports could be saved, exported, downloaded and shared with others.

·      Issues and enhancements were frequently considered for how to make the portal more user friendly and to add further value to how the data could be used.

·      Provided an overview of some of the portal’s features – air quality, river levels, water quality, wave buoys (Bowentown and Pukehina), interactive map, extensive list of search parameters, recent to historical data.

·      Contact details for any queries was available on the portal home page.

In Response to Questions:

·      Work was underway to provide river flow warning lines via the dashboard to provide context of river heights during heavy rainfall events.

·      Improvements for using the portal via a mobile app were being discussed with the developer, however noted that mobile phone functionality was unlikely to ever be the same as computer/laptop functionality.

Key Points - Members:

·      Commended the portal as a great tool.


8.     Karakia Kati
Closing Karakia

A karakia was provided by Miro Araroa.


1:05 pm – the meeting closed.




                                                                                                                   Bronco Carson

Deputy Chairperson, Rangitāiki River Forum