è The ability of tangata whenua to exercise their traditional relationship with ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu and other taonga is sometimes threatened by conflicting values on activities.
Westland has a long history of Maori occupation and, as a result of this, there are many important archaeological sites in the District. The main focus of settlement in Westland was believed to be in the Hokitika area where pounamu was abundant. Access to the District was generally from walking along the seabeach, or through river valley and mountain pass routes because canoe voyaging was a dangerous undertaking on the hazardous Tasman sea.
Most early Maori communities lived in the coastal fringes around river mouths and sheltered bays. Archaeological sites indicate that Maori utilised the pounamu of the District and lived off fish and forest birds. The natural environment held great importance for the Maori, a factor which remains relevant today.
The Resource Management Act specifically requires all persons exercising powers and functions under the Act to have regard to kaitiakitanga - or the traditional Maori way of protecting the value of the land, and passing it to future generations in a state which is as good as, or better than, the current state. In achieving the purpose of the Act, the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi shall also be taken into account.
The Council recognises the mana whenua and rangatiratanga of Poutini Ngai Tahu in Westland and will consult with the hapu and individuals generally on all major issues of land and water use and especially in those areas that have been identified to Council as being of particular significance to Poutini Ngai Tahu. Where waahi tapu are identified by Ngai Tahu, the Council will use whatever non-statutory means appropriate to promote their protection. The Council also recognises the special relationship of Poutini Ngai Tahu with the total environment and their particular concerns. For example, effluent and waste disposal are of particular concern especially where effluent enters rivers and coastal waters. The special needs of Poutini Ngai Tahu will also be recognised, for example in relation to providing for marae (meeting places) and papakainga (traditional community housing).
3.5.1 To pursue a partnership of consultation and participation between the Council and Poutini Ngai Tahu relating to resource management.
3.5.2 To recognise and provide for the relationship, culture and traditions of tangata whenua with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu and other taonga.
è Recognises and provides for Sections 6(e), 7(a) and 8 of the Resource Management Act.