Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson welcomed the enactment of the Ngati Tuwharetoa, Raukawa and Te Arawa River Iwi Waikato River Act, which was passed by Parliament today.
The Act complements the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010, which was passed earlier this year and established a co-governance framework for the Waikato River. The Act reflects the emphasis the government has placed on improving the practicality and workability of co-governance arrangements for the river.
“The Waikato River has provided physical, spiritual and cultural substance to the Waikato River iwi for generations,” Mr Finlayson said. “This Act enables the people of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Raukawa and Te Arawa to participate with Waikato-Tainui in co-governance arrangements which aim to protect and restore the health of the Waikato River.”
“It represents a further positive step towards the ongoing protection and practical management of a major natural resource,” Mr Finlayson said. “It is cause for optimism not only for the Crown, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Raukawa and Te Arawa but also for the Waikato region as a whole.”
The Act passed by a margin of 113 votes to five.