Te Kawa o Te Urewera draft released
Te Urewera Board has invited public submissions on its draft Te Kawa o Te Urewera (Te Kawa), which presents a new way to
understand the relationship between people and Te Urewera and places respect for and interdependence with nature at its
In 2014 Te Urewera Act established Te Urewera as an independent legal identity, essentially meaning the area of Te
Urewera (formerly Te Urewera National Park) owns itself. Te Urewera Board speaks for and represents Te Urewera, and day
to day management is shared between Tūhoe and the Department of Conservation.
Te Kawa sets out the principles that will guide the setting of annual priorities statements and operational management
plans under Te Urewera Act, as well as decisions by the Board about activities within Te Urewera.
“Te Kawa does not work the same way as other management plans, which focus on setting rules and stock-taking,” Te
Urewera Board Chairman Tāmati Kruger says. “That traditional approach can frame nature as a set of discrete resources to
be managed and used. Te Kawa is different. It asks us to stop and reflect on Te Urewera and what that means as a living
system. A living system we depend on for survival, culture, recreation, and inspiration. Te Urewera has its own identity
that is legal, but also physical, environmental, cultural and spiritual.”
“Te Kawa sets out a vision for bringing all New Zealanders, including Tūhoe, into a closer relationship with Te Urewera,
rather than setting out to manage the land itself.”
“Te Kawa o Te Urewera is not about short term thinking. Te Urewera does not work to annual plans, but over seasons and
centuries. Our aspiration is that in 20 years’ time Te Urewera, Tūhoe and anyone who chooses a relationship with Te
Urewera will be part of an effort to living with the land that is local, national and global.”
“At this moment in history, we all need to give deep consideration to how we can re-establish our connection as people
to the land, and the land’s connection to us. One of the first steps is rebuilding traditional knowledge along with
modern research and insights.”
“We invite everyone to take part in this discussion.”
The draft Te Kawa o Te Urewera can be viewed here. The closing date for submissions is 20 July 2017.