Friday 15 September 2023
A new strategic vision to protect and sustain the future of Te Awa Tupua (the Whanganui River) has been launched at Putiki Marae in Whanganui today.
Called Te Heke Ngahuru, the strategy sets the direction for all activities around the Whanganui River catchment and is backed by parliamentary legislation.
Te Heke Ngahuru was co-created by a diverse group of leaders from across the community, addressing a statutory legacy that places the wellbeing of people and the environment over profit.
Celebrating the milestone were Turama Hawira and Keria Ponga who jointly perform the role of Te Pou Tupua to represent and advocate for the interests of Te Awa Tupua. Established by the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017, Te Pou Tupua is a singular role which is presented through a shared delivery.
Te Pou Tupua, Turama Hawira, says a visionary strategy is needed to achieve major changes for Te Awa Tupua and the care and wellbeing of its tributaries.
“Te Heke Ngahuru emphasises a community-led approach guided by indigenous values,” says Mr Hawira. “These indigenous values are known as Tupua Te Kawa, a set of intrinsic values which represent the essence of Te Awa Tupua. These ideas are being closely observed by indigenous and non-indigenous communities worldwide as it paves the way towards a more sustainable future.”
To grow the resilience of communities in the Whanganui River catchment area, Te Heke Ngahuru will also focus on growing social, cultural and economic benefits for people. Te Pou Tupua, Keria Ponga, says these are outcomes that no one entity could achieve alone.
“The high-level outcomes defined in Te Heke Ngahuru are a starting point,” says Mrs Ponga. “Significant engagement and collaborative processes will be required to further inform this direction.”
“We know Te Kōpuka is committed to working together to achieve these outcomes. It is transformational, future focussed and creates a framework linking long term vision to pragmatic actions. Te Heke Ngahuru is dynamic, and we acknowledge that community aspirations and unrecognised opportunities may occur and must be considered.”
A pānui will be sent out so people and organisations can make submissions or give their views on Te Heke Ngahuru.
For more information contact:
Te Taituarā o Te Pou Tupua