Joint Management Agreements

Power sharing across cultures

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Joint Management Agreements, Taupo District Council
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Waikato District Council and Waikato-Tainui JMA
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Joint management agreements are potentially a means of power-sharing with councils, for resources that are particularly important to iwi/hapū. In 2005, new sections (36B-E) were added into the RMA, giving councils the ability to make joint management agreements for carrying out any functions, powers or duties of the council. This may apply to the whole or part of a district or region. The aim is to encourage collaborative projects such as between councils and iwi.

To date, the only joint management agreement has been between Taupō District Council and Ngati Tūwharetoa, but discussions are under way in other parts of the country.

After a year of planning, a historic agreement was signed between iwi and local government on Saturday the 17th of January 2009 when Taupō District Council granted Ngāti Tūwharetoa decision-making powers in resource consent decisions – the first time a New Zealand local government has transferred powers to an Iwi. 

The agreement will see a joint committee established in which appropriately qualified Iwi appointees will join Taupō District councillors in resource consent and private plan hearings about changes which apply to Māori multiple-owned freehold land. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of Taupo district’s land area is owned by members of Ngāti Tūwharetoa.


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