This section was provides information on how local authorities provide opportunities for Māori participation in Resource Management Act (RMA) processes. It was significantly revised in the 2005/2006 survey. Specifically, it reports on:
- funding for Māori participation in RMA processes
- Māori input into consents and plans
- advice to resource consent applicants on Māori interests.
Funding for Māori participation in RMA processes
Local authorities were asked whether they made a budgetary commitment to Māori/iwi participation in RMA processes.
In 2005/2006, 38% (32) of local authorities reported they had made a budgetary commitment. This compares to 56% making a budgetary commitment in 2003/2004 and 49% in 2001/2002.
Māori input into resource consents and plans
Local authorities were asked whether they have a written criteria or a set policy for their staff to determine when tangata whenua are considered an affected party to resource consent applications and should be notified of the proposal.
In 2005/2006, 59% (50) of local authorities had a written criteria or a set policy. This compares to 65% of local authorities in 2003/2004 and 59% in 2001/2002.
Several new questions were asked about Māori input into resource consents and plans for the 2005/2006 survey:
- 89% (76) of local authorities have standard resource consent conditions which cover the discovery of significant sites or items to tangata whenua.
- 21% (18) of local authorities involve tangata whenua involvement in resource consent monitoring.
- When asked about memorandum of understandings, protocols, joint management agreements or service level agreements with tangata whenua, 61% (52) local authorities reported they have formal arrangements and 54% (46) reported they have informal arrangements.
Iwi management plans can be used for input into consents and plans and local authorities are required to take iwi management plans into account when preparing plans or policy statements. Guidance on iwi management plans is provided in Whakamaui ki Nga Kaupapa: Making the best of iwi management plans under the Resource Management Act 1991, available on the Ministry for the Environment website: www.mfe.govt.nz.
Advice to resource consent applicants on Māori interests
Local authorities were asked whether they provided advice or an indication to applicants that their resource consent may by of interest/concern to iwi/hapu.
In 2005/2006, 96% (82) of local authorities provided advice or an indication to applicants. These 82 local authorities were asked to indicate whether this generally occurred prior or after formal lodgement - 68% (56) indicated that it generally occurred prior and 32% (26) indicated that it generally occurred after. Local authorities had to choose the option that most generally occurred, but it should be noted that some local authorities do provide this information both prior and after formal lodgement of an application.
Local authorities were asked whether they had a policy requiring a cultural impact assessment as part of the resource application when a site, species or resource is of concern to tangata whenua. In 2005/2006, 32% (27) of local authorities did have a policy.
Preparation of a cultural impact assessment report to accompany, or form part of an assessment of environmental effects, is good practice for any proposal that may have a significant effect on RMA Part 2 matters pertaining to tangata whenua. A cultural impact assessment can identify likely effects of a proposal on cultural values and interests. Early identification of potential effects can enable modification of the proposal to avoid potential effects and assist in identifying how the effects can be remedied or mitigated.