Ngā Pōtiki Environment and Heritage
The Ngā Pōtiki Environmental Plan discussion document, which is the precursor to the Environmental Management Plan, is now ready for review by whānau. For those who would like to read the background information on the Environmental Plan, we have prepared an introduction overview which was presented at our last hui.
Ngā Pōtiki Resource Management Unit (RMU)
The RMU is charged with the good management, protection and preservation of Ngā Pōtiki cultural and environmental heritage.
- 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).
- Registration of Te Tahuna o Rangataua and the Papamoa Hills Heritage Park as wahi tapu under current legislation.
- The 2011 grounding of the container ship RENA on the Otaiti Reef and the ongoing threat imposed to the Pāpāmoa coastline and its wildlife.
- Restoration of Waitao wetlands.
- Exploratory investigations with other interested parties into World Heritage recognition over parts of Ngā Pōtiki takiwa.
- Construction of the Bayfair to Baypark interchanges by the New Zealand Transport Agency.
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.
You may be aware that the application by the Astrolabe Community Trust for the following resource consents have been granted subject to a comprehensive suite of conditions outlined within the 451 page decision document.
- Consent to ‘dump’ the remains of the MV Rena, its equipment and cargo on Astrolabe Reef as a result of the grounding of the vessel on 5 October 2011 pursuant to Section 15A of the Resource Management Act (RMA); and
- Consent to ‘discharge’ any harmful substances or contaminanats from the remains of the MV Rena, its equipment and cargo that may occur over time as a result of the degradation of the vessel pursuant to Section B of the RMA.
This decision was made by the hearing commissioners following a lengthy hearing held between early September and October 2015.
As a result in March 2016 quite a number of Māori and non-Māori organisations including Ngā Pōtiki have lodged a Notice of Appeal to the Environment Court appealing against the decision. The reasons for this appeal are that the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s decision to grant consents effectively precludes any opportunity for the Rena wreck to be removed from Te Moana Nui a Toi and Otaiti Reef.
The decision authorises significant future impacts and adverse effects which are not, avoided, remedied or mitigated. More information will be provided later.
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.