Chapter 5: Māori involvement in the assessment of feasibility

Regardless of the approach chosen by Government to manage feasibility activities, sufficient involvement of local iwi, hapū, or whānau will be required to determine feasibility and understand the potential environmental and cultural impacts.

Above, we noted the various interests and information that iwi, hapū, and whānau have, which will be critical to inform any future decisions on a development. As we prefer to take a permitting
approach, this section focuses on the requirements that developers might be required to meet to involve iwi, hapū, or whānau both before and during any feasibility assessments. Appropriate involvement would, however, also need to be provided for if a non-permitting approach was used.

In seeking to apply for a feasibility permit, developers could be required to:

  • demonstrate a sufficient level of initial discussion with relevant iwi, hapū, or whānau about the potential development prior to applying for a permit 
  • demonstrate an understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, mātauranga Māori, tikanga principles and the aspirations or interests of the mana moana of the area in which feasibility activities are being proposed 
  • demonstrate initial understanding of those areas where a development may impact existing rights or tikanga, and how information will be gathered to further understand these impacts, and 
  • provide a plan for how the feasibility assessment process will meaningfully involve iwi, hapū, or whānau throughout, including which tikanga and environmental issues that will need to be
    assessed in more detail with the involvement of iwi, hapū, or whānau.

Throughout the duration of the permit, developers could be required to:

  • identify impacts of the proposed development on any legal rights, on tikanga and taonga species
  • incorporate mātauranga Māori in identification of the potential impacts 
  • identify relevant economic interests in the construction and operation of the development, and a plan for implementing these if the development proceeds, and 
  • show how the plan for iwi, hapū, or whānau involvement is being met. 

Some enforcement mechanism is likely to be required to ensure that iwi involvement occurs throughout the preparation of feasibility activities. This could occur through a regular reporting
mechanism, and/or penalties for non-compliance.

We acknowledge that greater participation, which involves and empowers mana moana to play a more active role, will have significant impacts on time, resources and capability of both developers and mana moana.

As has been the case for other permitting regimes, guidelines could be prepared for developers. There will also be a continuing role for the Crown to provide support and advice, which we are considering in assessing the proposals in this document.

13. What broad opportunities do you see for iwi, hapū, and/or whānau to be involved in the feasibility stage of development (both before and during feasibility activities)?

14. Are the above requirements sufficient to achieve this? How can the requirements be implemented to reduce undue burden on mana moana or developers?

15. What information/mātauranga Māori and process/tikanga will be important for developers to incorporate into their feasibility plans, and how should iwi, hapū, and/or whānau be involved in gathering this information?

16. What mechanisms for monitoring and enforcing these requirements are appropriate (regular reporting by developers that is reviewed by iwi etc)?

17. How should the adequacy of iwi involvement be assessed? What does good faith and meaningful participation look like?