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Ngā Pōtiki Environment and Heritage

We support, care for and enhance the natural and built environment, including places of cultural and spiritual significance to Ngā Pōtiki.

Tūhoromatanui: Ngā Potiki Environmental Plan 2019 – 2029 is a working document that aims to protect and preserve Ngā Potiki cultural landscapes and seascapes for future generations.

This environmentally-focused plan builds off the solid foundation set by the Ngā Potiki Environmental Plan 2001 and reflects our values, frustrations, aspirations and achievements in relation to our taiao (environment), our people and our takiwā whāanui (wider area of interest).

While this is an environmentally-focused plan, it also aims to improve the social, cultural and economic outcomes for our Ngā Potiki people.

We want Tūhoromatanui: Ngā Potiki Environmental Plan 2019 – 2029 to:

Influence Council and central government plans, projects, strategies and decisions.
• Guide Ngā Potiki Resource Management Unit mahi.
• Encourage greater collective responsibility for the health of our taiao.

Tūhoromatanui: Ngā Potiki Environmental Plan 2019-2029

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Ngā Pōtiki Resource Management Unit (RMU)

The RMU is charged with the good management, protection and preservation of Ngā Pōtiki cultural and environmental heritage.

Current Projects

  1. The rehabilitation of the Wairakei Stream that once emptied out into Te Moana a Toi (Pacific Ocean) with mass native tree plantings, information boards, park seating and pedestrian walkways for the benefit residents. This iconic waterway is recorded in the Tauranga City Plan as a significant Māori area (SMA).
  2. Registration of Te Tahuna o Rangataua and the Papamoa Hills Heritage Park as wahi tapu under current legislation.
  3. The 2011 grounding of the container ship RENA on the Otaiti Reef and the ongoing threat imposed to the Pāpāmoa coastline and its wildlife.
  4. Restoration of Waitao wetlands.
  5. Exploratory investigations with other interested parties into World Heritage recognition over parts of Ngā Pōtiki takiwa.
  6. Construction of the Bayfair to Baypark interchanges by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Significant Heritage and Environmental Achievements

Mount Maunganui Borough Reclamation and Empowering Repeal Act 2012:

The enactment of the Mount Maunganui Borough Reclamation and Empowering Act 1974, described as ‘An Act to authorise the Mount Maunganui Borough Council to reclaim tidal lands constituting part of the bed of the Harbour of Tauranga and to develop such reclaimed land for sewerage and other municipal purposes’, enabled the acquisition of some 73 hectares of foreshore and seabed over the protestations of Ngā Pōtiki kaumatua concerns.

It was the mokopuna of the same kaumatua who were instrumental in the repeal of the same legislation some 40 years later with the support of Te Ururoa Flavell, who was Minster of Māori Development at the time and sponsored the repeal legislation through the House of Parliament and cross party support in the House. The proposal was supported by Ngāti He, Ngāti Pukenga and Tauranga City Council. The legislation took effect on November 14, 2012.

Change of Name – Te Tahuna o Rangataua:

In 2012 the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa approved a proposal from the Ngā Pōtiki a Tamapahore Trust Board to change the name variously recorded as ‘Waitoa Bay’ and ‘Rangataua Bay’ on official maps to what it has always been known by tangata whenua – Te Tahuna o Rangataua. The name was approved by the Minister of Land Information and gazetted on May 10, 2012.

Waahi Tapu Listing – Te Tahuna o Rangataua:

In response to Māori Executive of Tauranga Māori Committees chairman Wiremu Ohia’s call (as printed in the Bay of Plenty Times on June 6, 1977) that Te Tahuna o Rangataua be made a reserve under the Māori Affairs Act 1953, the Ngā Pōtiki a Tamapahore Trust successfully applied to Heritage New Zealand some 40 years later for Te Tahuna o Rangataua to be listed as a waahi tapu pursuant to the Heritage New Zealand Pou Here Taonga Act 2014. This wahi tapu listing was supported by Ngāti He and Ngāti Pukenga and complements that previously applied to the adjacent Kopukairoa maunga and provides another layer of protection over Te Tahuna o Rangataua.

Marine and Coastal Takutai Moana Act 2014 – Te Tahuna o Rangataua and Te Akau ki Pāpāmoa:

In 2009 an application was filed in the Māori Land Court under the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 by Colin Reeder on behalf of Ngā Pōtiki. The Act was repealed by the Labour Government and was replaced by the Marine Coastal Takutai Moana Act 2014, whereby applications seeking Customary Marine Title (CMT) and Protected Customary Right (PCR) over a marine area now requires to be heard in the High Court. The Hearing is currently in progress.

Tuhoromatanui – Nga Potiki Environmental Plan 2019-2029:

In 2019, the Ngā Pōtiki ā Tamapahore Board approved the development of a comprehensive environmental plan to guide it with regard to the protection of Ngā Pōtiki cultural landscapes and seascapes for future generations. Completed with financial support from local and regional councils, Tuhoromatanui serves to inform local government decision makers concerning Ngā Pōtiki aspirations of its priorities relating to environmental heritage.

Researched and completed by Elva Conroy in April 2019, Tuhoromatanui received a Commendation Award for Excellence in within the Best Practice: Non-Statutory Plan Category by the New Zealand Planning Institute.


Ngā Pōtiki has a long history of experiencing the impact of urban growth and development in the Tauranga area.

This has been through the use of the Public Works and Municipalities Acts to take land for public utilities and infrastructures on significant cultural places and areas such as Mangatawa, Hikurangi, Kopukairoa and Rangataua Harbour have been desecrated and affected by quarry, seweage ponds and dump, water reservoirs and communication towers culminating in the destruction and desecration of waahi tapu, pa and culturally significant ancestral landscape features and this has been on land owned by Ngā Pōtiki.

Following the establishment of the Ngā Pōtiki Raupatu Claims Committee and the commissioning of research and administration led to the establishment of the Ngā Pōtiki Resource Management Unit (RMU) in 1998. The objective was to try and take stock and management of the rampant urban residential and commercial development that was occuring in Pāpāmoa East.


The objectives of the RMU are:

  • To protect and manage the cultural heritage and natural resources of Ngā Pōtiki for the present and future generations;
  • To secure the protection and management of waahi tapu and all other historical sites of significance to Ngā Pōtiki;
  • To protect and enhance the mauri of the coastal marine area and waterways;
  • To protect and enhance the habitats and natural values of indigenous flora and fauna;
  • To enhance and raise awareness of kaitiakitanga and environmental tikanga;
  • To promote and enhance good relations with the local community, territorial authorities and central government; and
  • To develop kaitiaki skills within Ngā Pōtiki.

Wairakei Stream

Cultural Management Plan

The purpose of the Cultural Management Plan for the Wairakei Stream is to recognise the important cultural values and landscape associated with the Wairakei Stream corridor in Pāpāmoa.

The Tauranga City Council (TCC) lodged an application with the BOP Regional Council (BOPRC) to vary the stormwater storage mitigation requirements in the Comprehensive Stormwater Consent. Tangata whenua namely Te Arawa coastal tribes, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāi Tauwhao, Ngāti He, Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngā Pōtiki have a cultural and spiritual relationship with the Wairakei Stream and are kaitiaki of the stream in the context of the surrounding landscape with some also having a statutory acknowledgement.

The corridor is an ancestral portage connecting many pa sites, nohoanga, waahi tapu and other cultural features along Te Akau ki Pāpāmoa. Such recognition will include identification of cultural significant areas, cultural values, including measures to protect and enhance cultural practices and the connecting of waters from Wairakei Stream to the Kaituna River and recognition elements such as art work, gateway features, planting and landscaping.

Given that this environment has been  significantly modified to accommodate residential, commercial, industrial and infrastructures, the fact that Māori are a product of these lands is found in the environment itself – in names and places and the ancestors, events and customs associated with this place.

Tuhoromatanui – Environmental Plan 2019-2029