National | Ngāti Tūwharetoa

New agreement to take better care of Lake Taupō

An agreement between Waikato Regional Council and Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board will see a new framework being developed on how to better take care of Lake Taupō and the tributaries flowing into and out of the lake.

Tipa Mahuta, deputy chair of the Waikato Regional Council says that this is “a new joint-management agreement for Lake Taupō”.

This is a further step which will allow Tuwharetoa and the council to develop new strategies.

Topia Rameka, CEO of the Tūwhare Māori Trust Board says, “We are in a new position and this is potentially an avenue for other iwi who also want to pursue self-governance”.

The agreement will see the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust and the Waikato Regional Council work closely together in taking care of the lake.

This includes the water quality which comes under the governance of the council.

“Our programmes on water quality will continue.  This includes dropping nitrogen levels in the lake.  We will also look at funding options to help with developing our managing our strategies” says Mahuta.

Over the next 18 months a co-governance committee made up of eight members of the council and Tūwharetoa will work on implementing their new strategies. “We do have a lot of work in front of us implementing the strategies in this agreement and also establishing what the role of the Crown will be before coming back to us,” says Rameka.

The first task for the groups is to appoint a senior staff member to oversee the implementation of the agreement.