Iwi who have cultural connections to the Kaituna River now have a say on future land and river management practices on the river.
This comes after the release of Kaituna River Document.
Taking care of the river which flows from Lake Rotoiti to Maketū is key for the Iwi group responsible for its welfare.
Chairman of Te Maru o Kaituna created the document and says, “We have been alienated from our waterways for over two centuries we need to get back in there, they were fine went we owned them out-right we are having to come back and clean them up that's the reality.”
In June, Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority which is made up of all Iwi who have connections to the river launched the Kaituna River Document which looks at protecting the river.
Bay of Plenty Māori regional councillor, Arapeta Tahana, says the document sets a precedence.
“The good thing about this is that we are working together, the groups now have the right to express what they want for the river and that will benefit their future generations”.
Dean Flavell says that the document is a guide for local government, iwi and the wider community in their work to protect and preserve the Kaituna River.
“We need to be able to negotiate and talk with the other entities that have rule over their parts of the river or waterways and that's what this is about it about bringing people together”.
Dr Bryce Kihirini, who is from Tapuika, an iwi who helped create this document, says, “My hope is that our grandchildren and children are able to use and play in the river”.
The document will be used for over the next ten years.