Transfers of power

Iwi can be granted the power to make resource consent decisions (or other powers) by councils under the RMA. Section 33 allows councils to transfer any of their functions, powers or duties to another public authority, including iwi authorities.

The iwi authority has to make an application for this, and both parties must agree that

  • they want the transfer to take place
  • the iwi authority is the appropriate group able to deliver the duties, functions or powers efficiently
  • the iwi authority has the expertise to exercise the powers

An example of when a transfer might be used given by the Ministry for the Environment is:

You may want to control the activities over a maunga of significance to your hapu or iwi. You would then ask the local authority that the power of a consent authority be transferred to your iwi authority or committee. This power would be used for the purpose of making decisions on resource consent applications that seek permission to carry out activities on that maunga. 
Note: Although section 33 has been in the RMA since 1991, no iwi has yet been granted a transfer of power (although other public authorities have been granted transfers).

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