March 30, 2022
Help to prepare iwi for Three Waters role
The new Three Waters Iwi/Māori acting director at the Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua says she wants to ensure iwi and hapū are ready to play an active role in the new system for managing water infrastructure.
Maria Nepia is a former natural resource manager for Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board and an alternate director with Māori freshwater fisheries body Te Wai Māori Trustee Limited.
The reform aims to put drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure in the hands of four publicly-owned entities from July 2024.
She says it means a step change for iwi Māori.
“Iwi and hapu will have an active role in the new system. They will be co-governors, They will be developing Te Mana o Te Wai statements if they don’t have them already They will be helping these new water service entities to stand up and operate,” Ms Nepia says.
She says co-governance and the principle of te mana o te wai will set a solid platform for all New Zealanders in protecting water.