Te Mana o Te Awa

Whanganui Iwi and Genesis Energy Relationship

As a result of decisions made at the Rūnanga o Te Awa Tupua over the 2009 and 2010 year period, a relationship agreement was negotiated with Genesis Energy that saw Whanganui iwi withdraw from the litigation (the court process) since 2001 regarding the decision of the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council (Horizons) to grant resource consents over the Tongariro Power Scheme (TPS). Consultation hui were held throughout the rohe during November 2010 culminating in the Parikino Rūnanga o Te Awa Tupua held on 21 October 2010 at which the fundamental aspects of the relationship agreement were accepted. The WRMTB at the time was assigned the task of completing the documentation on behalf of the whānau, hapū and iwi of the River. Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust now holds the relationship on behalf of Whanganui iwi.

Although the relationship agreement entitled Hei Whakaaro Tahi ki te Mana o Te Awa has been accepted through the Rūnanga process, it is nonetheless recognised that entering a relationship with Genesis Energy breaks new ground for the Iwi. This Relationship Agreement provides the scope to address our continued opposition to the Tongariro Power Scheme and to look at alternatives to its continued existence.

Te Mana o Te Awa Fund

Te Mana o Te Awa is the brand name for a broad range of initiatives that have arisen from the relationship between Whanganui Iwi and Genesis Energy. This relationship and subsequent agreements acknowledge the impact of the Tongariro Power Scheme on Te Awa Tupua and on our cultural and spiritual values while maintaining our opposition to the Tongariro Power Scheme.

As part of the relationship between Whanganui Iwi and Genesis Energy, an initiatives agreement called Hei Whainga Take Ki Te Mana o Te Awa signed in April 2012, was agreed to establish a fund and several agreed initiatives named Te Mana o Te Awa. The purpose of the fund is to resource projects that enhance and protect health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua, Te Mana o Te Awa and Te Mana o Te Iwi.

For any Te Mana o Te Awa quieries, please contact our Kaiarotahi - Kiri Wilson.

Projects and Initiatives

Connecting Flow

The establishment of a connecting flow for three manga iti near the headwaters of Whanganui River – Taurewa, Okupata and Tawhitikuri Streams.

Te Mana o Te Awa Funding programme

The overarching purpose of the Te Mana o Te Awa programme is the environmental, cultural and spiritual health and well being of Te Awa Tupua. Some of the projects under this programme are:

- Manga iti Funding – concise iwi led projects

- Scholarships (Te Rongoroa and Tertiary)

- Summer Scholarships/Internships

- Marae Capacity Fund

- Tupuna Rohe Capacity Building projects


Research and Monitoring

The purpose of the Research and Monitoring programme is to gain further understanding of the environmental, cultural and spiritual health and well-being of the Whanganui River and the impacts of various activities on the Whanganui River and the relationship between the Whanganui River and Whanganui Iwi. 

Te Mana o Te Awa Logo

The below Te Mana o Te Awa design was developed by Hihiria Kumeroa for this kaupapa.

Te Awa Tupua
Te Mana o te Awa & Te Mana o te Iwi Grants

Te Mana o Te Awa will provide up to $5,000 to support your project.
These projects may create opportunities to explore larger, long-term projects that benefit Te Awa Tupua.

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Tertiary Scholarships

The aim of the Te Mana o Te Awa Tertiary Scholarships is to grow the collective expertise of Whanganui Iwi to contribute to and enhance the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua and Whanganui Iwi.

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Marae Capacity Fund

The Te Mana o Te Awa Marae Capacity Fund has been established to contribute to the infrastructural, legal, governance and administrative capacity of Whanganui iwi Marae in upholding Te Mana o Te Awa.

Covid 19 Marae Grants2
Covid-19 Marae Relief Fund

The Covid-19 Pandemic Marae Relief Fund provided a one-off payment per Marae of $10,000 to relieve financial tension that Covid-19 created and organise resources that brought immediate and long-term relief.

Current Activities within Catchment
Current Activities Within Te Awa Tupua Catchment

This is a concise visual presentation of what activities are happening in the Te Awa Tupua Catchment.

Te Mana o Te Awa Funded/Supported Projects

Te Mana o Te Awa also supports Whanganui Iwi kaupapa above and beyond the programme initiatives. These are iwi kaupapa designed to build capacity, celebrate our Whanganuitanga and enhance the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua.

  • Tira Hoe Waka wānanga
  • Pakaitore Celebrations
  • Whanganui Hunting and Food Festivals
  • Puanga/Matariki events
  • Hapū development financial literacy workshops
  • GIS 101 Training workshops
  • Rangatakapū Summit
  • Rangatahi Summit

Rangatakapū Summit

In line with Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust’s Strategic Goal: Whanganuitanga – Leadership and Succession; the purpose of the Rangatakapu Summit is to provide an opportunity for Whanganui Rangatakapu (young adults) to wānanga on kaupapa that are relevant to/impact and/or affect them in order to support them as our future leaders.

The Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui 2018 First Quarterly report outlined the following objectives for the initial summit and development of a subsequent Ambassadorial Programme:

Project Outcome

Provide a two-day summit opportunity for Whanganui rangatakapū to design an Ambassadorial programme that will contribute to the promotion and uptake of Te Awa Tupua.

Project Indicators

1. Whanganui leadership supports the Project

2. Steering group is formed and functioning

3. Leadership programme is developed ready for implementation

4. Whanganui leadership endorses the programme

5. Whanganui Iwi has a plan to ensure Whanganui Iwi has a broad range of decision makers


An initial 1 day Summit was held in March 2019 at Pūtiki. This initial Summit was aimed at those at home in the first instance in order to prepare for the wider 2 day Summit.

The two-day Rangatakapū Summit for emerging whanau and hapū leaders (i.e. young adults) was held in Raetihi in May 2019 as a precursor to an Ambassadorial Programme for Te Awa Tupua that will launch in 2019.

The Ambassadorial Programme will provide pathways and opportunities for rangatakapū (young adults both resident at home and living further afield) to be the active face of Te Awa Tupua that will inspire, influence and effect change across local, national and international audiences.


Annual Raukotahi Rangatahi Summits 

Raukotahi, the way in which our elders of any particular generation will remind the youth of the next generation of who, and what, contributes to their make up – and in this way:

Haramai, haere atu koe i tō Raukotahi - kei muri i a koe, kei mua i a koe, kei o taha tō Rārangi Mātua. Come and go not as a singular identity but as one who is a culmination of all those who were before you, all those that stand at your side and all those who will follow after you. Raukotahi.

In 2005 the Whanganui River Maori Trust Board developed The Whanganui Rangatahi Succession Strategy including the 'Mai te Putake ki te Kopounga' model as it's foundation. The purpose of the strategy was outlined as; a support system for Whanganui Rangatahi aimed at assisting them to develop and grow their individual strengths towards achieving their life goals whilst being exposed to kaupapa Whanganui environments.

Building on this vision the 'Rangatahi Summit' concept was born. Moving forward Whanganui Iwi leadership, in varying ways, provided the opportunity for Rangatahi to come together to learn about themselves and each other.

The annual 'Maunga Summit' was one of the activities that dropped out of this, run by the Trust Board with the support of other local Iwi/Māori organisations.

Te Mana o Te Awa for the past 5 years has supported the Raukotahi Rangatahi Summit held in the second week of the July school Holidays.

To find out more about this kaupapa head to the Raukotahi Whanganui Facebook page.


Contact Te Mana o Te Awa

For general enquires please call the office on (06) 281 3375.

To submit an application please email office@ngatangatatiaki.co.nz

Or call into our office located at 357 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui (Corner of Victoria Ave and Liverpool Street).


Do you whakapapa to the Whanganui River? Would you and your whānau like to be registered on the Whanganui Iwi Database? What does that mean?

It means that you get sent pānui and updates on kaupapa related to the Whanganui River and Te Awa Tupua, the people and the river from the Mountains to the Sea. You can also apply for the different grants that are advertised on our website and facebook page.

If you are already on the database and need to up date your details please head to the database or send us an email at office@ngatangatatiaki.co.nz