Te Heke Ngahuru / Te Kōpuka

Ko ngā heke o te ngahuru he tohu o te hua nui o te tau
- ko Puanga kai rau e heke mai ana.
The first autumn migration of eels signifies well-stocked storehouses for the winter (the onset of winter being heralded by the rise of the star Puanga).

Te Heke Ngahuru ki Te Awa Tupua is the Te Awa Tupua strategy.
The name symbolises the potential of Te Awa Tupua to provide for all if cared for and protected as a living spiritual and physical resource.

Te Heke Ngahuru - The First Autumn Migration of Eels

Te Heke Ngahuru ki Te Awa Tupua


Te Heke Ngahuru ki Te Awa Tupua is a strategy document that will identify issues relating to the environmental, social, cultural and economic health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua and provide strategies and recommended actions for addressing those issues.

The purpose of Te Heke Ngahuru is to bring together persons with interests in the Whanganui River in a collaborative process to address and advance the wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua. It is intended to be a long-term strategy that will enable a future focus on the Whanganui River as a whole across a range of areas and wellbeings, rather than the ad hoc, single agency planning that often occurs at present.

Te Heke Ngahuru will be developed through a collaborative, public process that will include the key involvement of Whanganui Iwi and other iwi and hapū with interests in the Whangnaui River.

Te Heke Ngahuru will be a statutory document to which particular regard must be had when making decisions, including policies and plans, under all the primary legislation affecting the Whanganui River and its management. In addition, relevant decision-makers will have the power to adopt or implement, in whole or in part, Te Heke Ngahuru including, for example, as part of a regional policy statement, regional plan or district plan.

Te Heke Ngahuru must be reviewed at least once every 10 years (consistent with current planning cycles under the Resource Management Act).


Te Kōpuka nā te Awa Tupua 

Puta Tāne, Tangaroa kia piri, kia ita!
The close connection between the siblings Tāne Mahuta and Tangaroa.

White mānuka is the raw material used to build the pā auroa. This symbolises the connection, co-operation and strength within Te Awa Tupua.

Te Kōpuka nā Te Awa Tupua is a strategy group that will develop Te Heke Ngahuru ki Te Awa Tupua, the Te Awa Tupua strategy.

Te Kōpuka - The White Mānuka

Te Kopuka hui v2

Te Kōpuka members and hui attendees at the inaugural hui on Thursday 30th of May 2019 at Te Ihingarangi Marae, Waimiha.

Te Heke Ngahuru will be collaboratively developed by a strategy group, Te Kōpuka nā Te Awa Tupua, that will be established under the settlement and representative of all groups with an interest in the future of the Whanganui River.

The members of Te Kōpuka will comprise representatives of:

  • Whanganui Iwi;
  • other iwi with interests in the Whanganui River;
  • local government;
  • Genesis Energy Limited;
  • the Department of Conservation;
  • Fish and Game New Zealand;
  • environmental and conservation interests;
  • tourism interests;
  • the primary sector; and
  • recreational interests.

In addition, Te Kōpuka will be required to report regularly to and seek input from hapū with interests in the Whanganui River and other interested groups.

The purpose of Te Kōpuka is to act collaboratively to advance the environmental, social, cultural and economic health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua.

The primary task of Te Kōpuka will be to develop and approve the Te Heke Ngahuru strategy document. Other functions of Te Kōpuka include:

  • monitoring the implementation of and reviewing Te Heke Ngahuru;
  • providing a forum for discussion of issues relating to the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua; and
  • exercising any functions that may be delegated to it by a local authority.

Te Kōpuka will be deemed to be a permanent joint committee of the relevant local authorities in the Whanganui River catchment, but will operate under its own procedures which will be developed to reflect its purpose and collaborative nature and tikanga Māori.

The current membership of Te Kōpuka nā te Awa Tupua are as follows:

Iwi with interests in Te Awa Tupua will work in a collaborative effort called Te Ripo, which will collectively facilitate iwi presence required for six of the memberships on Te Kōpuka.

Confirmed appointments representing iwi include:

Representing Whanganui Iwi Gerrard Albert  (Te Kōpuka Chair)
On behalf of Ngati Tūwharetoa Wiari Rauhina and Tyrone Smith
For Ngāti Rereahu Gabriel Moana and Eric Crown
Representing Ngāti Maru Anaru Marshall
On behalf of Ngā Rauru Kiitahi Des Canterbury
For Ngāti Maniapoto Hera Smith (Te Kōpuka Deputy Chair)
Representing Tamahaki Paora Haitana
On behalf of Uenuku Moana Ellis
For Te Ihingarangi Hone Turu

Members appointed by local authorities include:

Mayor of Whanganui District Hamish McDouall
Mayor of Ruapehu District Don Cameron
Mayor of Stratford District Neil Volzke
Horizons Regional Councillor Nicola Patrick

Other members:

Fish and Game New Zealand Allen Stancliff
On behalf of the Director-General of Conservation Damian Coutts
Representing Genesis Energy Limited Nigel Clark

Representing sectorial appointments, coordinated by Horizons Regional Council:

Tourism Rory Smith
Environmentalist Keith Beautrais
Recreation Nicole Dryden
Primary industries Colleen Sheldon

Have you and your whānau registered for the Whanganui Iwi Registration?
And are your details up to date?