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Transfer of water quality monitoring functions – frequently asked questions

What’s this all about?

 

The Waikato Regional Council has approved the transfer of certain water quality monitoring functions in relation to Taupō Waters to the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board.
When did this happen?

 

The Council’s governing body approved the transfer of certain water quality monitoring functions to the Trust Board on 30 July 2020.
When does the transfer of functions take place?

 

The transfer of functions from the Council to the Trust Board will take place in September 2020.
Has a New Zealand local or regional council ever transferred any of its functions to an iwi authority before?

 

No.

This is a significant and historic milestone in New Zealand’s history.

The Council reached a landmark decision on 30 July 2020 to approve the transfer of certain water quality monitoring functions to the Trust Board.

Is the transfer of functions from the Council to the Trust Board legal?

 

Yes.

Under the Resource Management Act, a Council can transfer some of its functions to another public authority.

 

Is the Trust Board a ‘public authority?’

 

Yes.

The Trust Board is both an iwi authority and a public authority.

 

What has led to this happening?

 

There a several reasons which have contributed to the Council’s landmark decision – including for example:

·         Council’s recognition of Ngāti Tūwharetoa as kaitiaki of Taupō Waters;

·         A long standing and collaborative relationship between the Council and Trust Board which has spanned many years;

·         Council’s acknowledgement of the Trust Board’s local knowledge and expertise, and;

·         Achieving greater operational efficiencies.

 

 

What are the benefits for Ngāti Tūwharetoa?

 

·         Confirming Ngāti Tūwharetoa’s authority as kaitiaki of Taupō Waters;

·         Increasing the technical capability and knowledge of our people;

·         Looking at new opportunities to create employment, and;

·         Strengthening relationships with key stakeholders to advance the environmental, social, educational and economic objectives of Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

 

 

Who will pay for the monitoring?

 

The Council will continue to fund the costs associated with transferred water quality monitoring functions to the Trust Board.
What does water monitoring actually involve?

 

·         Taking water samples from Lake Taupō and its surrounding tributaries;

·         Analysing data and results;

·         Monitoring water quality and the wellbeing of the natural environment;

·         Alerting the authorities to areas of concern and ensuring action; and

·         Working collaboratively with government and community stakeholders.

 

Will the results from the Trust Board’s monitoring be publicly available?

 

Yes.

The Trust Board will provide the water quality monitoring results to the Council.  The results will be publicly available on the Council’s website.