Judicial Review Judgement – Lysaght & Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa v Whakatāne District Council


Judicial Review Judgement – Lysaght & Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa v Whakatāne District Council

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa is pleased with the High Court judgment, that sets aside the Whakatāne District Council’s decision to grant a non-notified consent to build an unmanned petrol station on the outskirts of Whakatāne, opposite The Hub.

It is now up to Whakatāne District Council to reconsider its non-notification decision, having regard to the matters raised in the Court’s decision, including pedestrian safety. Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa acknowledge the Ngāti Awa whānau and hapū members who supported this judicial review.

The full judgement is online here: https://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/assets/cases/2021/2021-NZHC-68.pdf

COVID-19 Response Update – Latest cases in Tāmaki

As of 11:59pm, Sunday 14 February, Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 until midnight, Wednesday 17 February.

Be vigilant, wash your hands, stay home if you are unwell, and sign in everywhere you go using the Covid Tracer App. While we wait for more information, kia noho haumaru – stay safe and ensure you keep informed.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa office remains open. However we will be following business guidelines for Level 2:

Whānau living elsewhere in Aotearoa – Alert Level 2

  • Whānau can still go to work if they aren’t māuiui.
  • Kura, kōhanga, schools, and day-care remain open.
  • Hui and gatherings are now restricted to 100 people.
  • Travel into Tāmaki is now restricted.
  • Whānau are asked to check out the locations of interest here to see if they need to stay home and get tested.

More information on Alert Level 2 can be found here.

Remember our tikanga hauora
Regardless of where you are in the motu, kia mau ki ā tātou tikanga hauora, remember our tikanga hauora to keep our whânau safe:

  1. If you are māuiui, stay at home. Call Healthline or your GP to check whether you need to get tested.  
  2. Keep track of where you’ve been – scan QR codes using the NZ COVID Tracer app and enable Bluetooth tracing on your device. Check that you have Bluetooth tracing enabled on the dashboard of the NZ COVID Tracer app. If you don’t, turn it on now. If you can’t use the app, download or request a COVID Tracer booklet, keep a calendar or diary.
  3. Practice good hygiene – wash your hands regularly, cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  4. Regularly clean high touch surfaces.
  5. Most importantly, be kind to one another.

For more information on COVID-19 and the latest cases, visit the Ministry of Health website or the Unite Against COVID website.

Ngā Tapu Wae o Nehe

Ngā Tapu Wae o Nehe: Capturing the stories of the past!

Nau mai, haere mai ki Ngā Tapu Wae o Nehe! A kaupapa based on collective historic korero around the Edgecumbe area.

Ara-Wai Whakahau Recruitment Media Release

Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Limited welcomed 27 new staff this week at Te Mānuka Tūtahi Marae. The kaimahi are all employed under Ara-Wai Whakahau – Ngāti Awa Farms Limited: Waterways Protection and Riparian Planting Project which is funded through the Provincial Growth Fund.

Ara-Wai Whakahau aims to directly enhance te taiao through 22 hectares of native riparian planting and 72 kilometres of riparian fencing on our three farms’ waterways. Kaimahi will undertake training in preparation for the project which includes earthworks, spot-spraying, riparian planting, pest control, weeding and fencing. Ara-Wai Whakahau mahi will be completed at two dairy farms each located near Te Teko and Rotomā, and the drystock farm located between Ōhope and Whakatāne.

Ara-Wai Whakahau also has a number of social procurement objectives with a focus on employment of targeted workforces, local businesses, supplier diversity, skills and training, worker conditions, and environmental responsibility.

Te Rūnanga of Ngāti Awa Tumuaki Joe Harawira says:

 “I see this project as Ngāti Awa breathing life back in to Papatūānuku. It’s a step in restoring the mana, the mauri, the tapu of our awa and our manga in Ngāti Awa”.

Ngāti Awa Group Holdings CEO Tracey Hook says:

 “Recruitment of 27 kaimahi for Ara-Wai Whakahau is a significant undertaking and we are excited to see them grow as the project develops. Not only will this result in environmental benefits for our Iwi but it will contribute to our commitment to improving social, cultural and economic outcomes for Ngāti Awa whānau”. 

Ara-Wai is one of a number of environmentally focused programmes dedicated to restoring and preserving te taiao in the Ngāti Awa rohe. In 2020 Ngāti Awa launched Korehāhā Whakahau, a predator eradication programme to rid 4,700 hectares of land in Whakatāne and Ohōpe of possums benefitting biodiversity and creating training and employment opportunities. Korehāhā Whakahau is the first Iwi led project of its kind and currently employs 13 people.


Contact Bianca Ruakere for more information on 021 453 189



Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, alongside Hapū members, are opposed to a consent application to develop land directly adjacent to the ancient urupā, Ōpihiwhanaungakore. The consent application was made by MMS GP Ltd for a subdivision consent at 77 Bunyan Road, Piripai to the Whakatāne District Council. The resource consent application outlines developers’ plans to develop the Ōpihi Block into 240 residential lots, a retirement village, 13 access lots, eight reserve lots, and seven public road lots.

In the interests of kaitiakitanga, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa have opposed all forms of residential development at 77 Bunyan Road, because of its central location within a cultural landscape, including its close proximity to Ōpihiwhanaungakore Urupā, Ōhuirehe Urupā, Ōriini, Whakatāne River, and the coast.

The consent hearing will be held between 15th and 18th of February 2021.

Ngāti Awa whānau can attend any part of the consent hearing.

The hearing dates, locations, and times are as follows:

Monday 15th FebruaryWhakatāne District Council Chambers, Civic Centre, Commerce Street.Presentation of Applicant’s Case.9am – 5pm
Tuesday 16th of FebruaryTe Hokowhitu-A-Tū MaraePresentation of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Ōpihiwhanaungakore Trust and Ngāi Taiwhakaea Submissions.Pōhiri at 9am Hearing commencing at 10am – 5pm.
Wednesday 17th February (AM)Te Hokowhitu-A-Tū MaraePresentation of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Ōpihiwhanaungakore Trust and Ngāi Taiwhakaea Submissions.9am – 12pm
Wednesday 17th February (PM)Whakatāne District Council Chambers, Civic Centre, Commerce Street.S42a Report Authors1pm – 5pm
Thursday 18th FebruaryWhakatāne District Council Chambers, Civic Centre, Commerce Street.Applicant’s Reply9am – 5pm.

Ngāti Awa files application with the Court of Appeal to hear water bottling appeal


Ngāti Awa files application with the Court of Appeal to hear water bottling appeal

Ngāti Awa has today filed an application in the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal the High Court judgment dismissing Ngati Awa’s appeal from the Environment Court.  The Environment Court majority’s decision was to grant Creswell New Zealand Limited (Creswell), the right to extract 1.1 million cubic metres of water annually from the Otākiri aquifer, for water bottling.  Ngāti Awa is progressing this application for leave to appeal through Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa.

Creswell is a subsidiary of Chinese soft drinks giant Ngonfu Spring, headquartered in Hangzhou, China. Otakiri is a small rural settlement a short distance from Whakatāne and within the Ngāti Awa rohe.

Ngāti Awa first opposed the Creswell proposal in 2018, concerned that the proposal would have irrevocable and negative effects on te mauri o te wai, that Ngāti Awa would not be able to carry out their roles as kaitiaki and that the proposal was inconsistent with the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This argument was summed up by Ngāti Awa pukenga and former Rūnanga Chair Dr. Hohepa Mason when he described it as: “too much water, to be sold, too far away”.

Leonie Simpson, Manahautū (CEO), Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa says: “He taonga te wai – water is an inherited treasure. Once it has been removed from our rohe our wai will never return. As kaitiaki and mana whenua we have a responsibility to act when decisions impact the natural resources within our rohe.

“We are also concerned about the wider allocation of freshwater rights in Aotearoa. Successive governments have failed to address the very real issue of water rights in New Zealand. It is only fair that government work with Māori as partners to address the issues of water quality, allocation and broader issues that impact our environment. In a country impacted by severe drought and water shortages it is nothing short of negligent to give this resource away.”

Joe Harawira, Tumuaki (Chairman), Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa says: “We are focused on developing projects and businesses that are sustainable and create long-term meaningful opportunities for our Ngāti Awa people (including our recent jobs for nature). Creswell plans to take a vital, scarce and precious resource forever.

“The mauri of our wai is harmed through Creswell’s application.  The Government must address water rights in this country. Why are we exporting our purest water when our own people living in Whakatāne, Murupara and Kawerau drink water of the lowest acceptable quality for human consumption? Why are we giving our water away for free to overseas companies whose shareholders will be the main beneficiaries?  And why are we supporting a proposal to build a manufacturing plant with the capacity to create 1,800 single use plastic bottles per minute?”

“To allow this project to progress will be a terrible mistake and not lead to positive outcomes for our mokopuna (future generations),” added Leonie Simpson

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Bianca Ruakere: 021 453189

Ngāti Awa are the descendants of Te Tini o Toi, the original inhabitants of the Eastern Bay of Plenty region, and the people who arrived on the Mataatua waka. Today Ngāti Awa represent 22 hapū and have 19 marae. For more information please visit the website: https://ngatiawa.iwi.nz/

Nongfu Spring is China’s largest supplier of packaged water and ranks as one of the top 20 beverage companies in China. They were founded in 1996 and are headquartered in Hangzhou, Zheijang Province, China. Creswell New Zealand Limited are a subsidiary of Nongfu Spring. For more information please visit the website: https://www.nongfuspring.com/