Te Pā Auroa nā te Awa Tupua

He pā kaha kua hangaia kia toitū ahakoa ngā waipuke o te ngahuru, o te makariri me te kōanga
The broad eel weir built to withstand the autumn, winter and spring floods
The name of the Te Awa Tupua framework symbolises an extensive, well-constructed framework for Te Awa Tupua that is fit for purpose, enduring and the responsibility of all.

Te Pā Auroa - The Broad Eel Weir

Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua provides a new legal framework for the Whanganui River as an integrated whole.

For more than 100 years the laws, regulations and actions of the Crown have broken the Whanganui River down into parts:

  • the River is viewed and managed separately by the Crown in terms of its bed and banks, its subsoil, its waters, its flora and fauna and its fisheries;
  • the River is subject to a raft of different statutory regimes including the Resource Management Act, the Local Government Act, the Fisheries Act, the Conservation Act, the Maritime Transport Act and the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act;
  • the River comes under the jurisdiction of one regional council, three local authorities and a number of Crown agencies; and
  • issues of navigability, sale and compulsory acquisition means the bed of the River and its tributaries are in parts privately owned and in other parts in Crown or public ownership.

The Te Awa Tupua framework seeks to take a catchment-wide approach to ensure that all of the waterways which together join to form the Whanganui River are viewed and managed, not in isolation, but with reference to the whole River as an interconnected ecosystem. This makes sense not only in environmental terms, but also in cultural terms.

To Whanganui Iwi however the Whanganui River is viewed as a living being, Te Awa Tupua; an indivisible whole incorporating its tributaries and all its physical and metaphysical elements from the mountains to the sea. The health and wellbeing of one element of the River is intrinsically connected to the health and wellbeing of the whole River, its mouri and its mana.

The enduring concept of Te Awa Tupua - the inseparability of the people and River - underpins the desire of Whanganui Iwi to care for, protect, manage and use the Whanganui River through the kawa and tikanga maintained by our tūpuna and their descendants.

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Te Pā Auroa

The new Te Awa Tupua framework is called Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua (the Broad Eel Weir), symbolising an extensive, well-constructed framework for Te Awa Tupua that is fit for purpose, enduring and the responsibility of all.

Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua contains the following seven key elements:

  • the legal recognition of Te Awa Tupua as a living and indivisible whole from the mountains to the sea;
  • the establishment and legal recognition of a set of intrinsic Te Awa Tupua values – Tupua te Kawa;
  • the joint appointment by Whanganui Iwi and other iwi with interests in the Whanganui River and the Crown of two persons to hold the position of Te Pou Tupua, which will act as the human face of Te Awa Tupua and uphold and protect its status and values;
  • the collaborative development of a whole of River Te Awa Tupua Strategy - Te Heke Ngahuru ki Te Awa Tupua - to guide the future health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua;
  • the establishment of a collaborative group - Te Kōpuka nā Te Awa Tupua - comprising representatives of Whanganui Iwi together with other iwi with interests in the Whanganui River, local and central government, and other key interest groups who will develop the Te Awa Tupua Strategy;
  • the vesting of the Crown-owned parts of the bed of the Whanganui River in Te Awa Tupua - Kia Matara Rawa; and
  • the establishment of a $30 million putea - Te Korotete o Te Awa Tupua - to support initiatives directed to the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua.
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