What is mana whenua? In the consenting context, mana whenua means the indigenous people (Māori) who have historic and territorial rights over the land. It refers to iwi and hapū (Māori tribal groups) who have these rights in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.

Mana whenua interests are represented by 19 iwi (tribal) authorities in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.

Resource consent applicants need to engage with mana whenua, in certain circumstances, by contacting the relevant iwi authority.

Mana whenua and the environment

Mana whenua have a special cultural and spiritual relationship with the environment, which is a matter of national importance under the Resource Management Act.

This includes their relationship with their:

  • waahi tapu (sacred sites)
  • taonga (treasures)
  • water
  • ancestral lands.

Resource consent applicants and the council must consider these matters of national importance.

When you should consult mana whenua organizations

Resource consent applicants are expected to consult with iwi authorities when developments affect mana whenua values.

The best way to identify these values and take these into account is through consultation with the relevant iwi authorities.

Mana whenua values may be affected by developments subject to or involving:

  • landscape overlays
  • maunga (volcanic) viewshafts
  • ancestral land
  • significant ecological areas
  • coastal marine area
  • discharges to, or may enter, the sea, rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, aquifers and air
  • sites and places of significance to mana whenua
  • historic heritage overlay sites of Māori interest and significance
  • statutory acknowledgements
  • treaty settlement land (PDF 299KB)
  • Māori land.

Cultural Values Assessment (CVA)

As part of the consent application process, new developments may need to provide a Cultural Values Assessments (CVA), prepared by mana whenua or their nominee.

Not all resource consent applications will require a CVA. This needs to be decided by the relevant iwi authority.

After consideration, mana whenua may formally advise that a CVA is not needed.

Benefits of engaging with mana whenua

Working with mana whenua can help you to:

  • understand the history of your area and site
  • be informed about the views of mana whenua
  • ensure the Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) that must accompany your application fully identifies and addresses the effects of your proposal
  • get written approvals from potentially affected iwi to help avoid notification
  • reduce the risk of processing delays or appeals due to supplying an inadequate AEE.

Mana whenua’s expectations

When mana whenua are engaged by an applicant, they expect that:

  • they have access to all relevant consent information
  • there is a willingness to meet face-to-face
  • their views are respected
  • their intellectual property is handled with sensitivity
  • they have the right to:
    • decide what their interests in an application are, and declare those interests
    • make submissions on notified applications and be heard in support of those submissions.

You do not need to reach an agreement, but you are obliged to report on the outcomes of any consultation you undertake. If mana whenua concerns cannot be resolved, but you still want to proceed with the application, then the application must demonstrate that you made genuine attempts to engage in an open and honest manner.

Cost of engaging with mana whenua: Mana whenua organizations, or their nominee, may charge a fee to:- consider an application  *conduct a site visit   *meet with applicants and their experts  *prepare a cultural values assessment, if one is needed. Mana whenua organizations should provide a schedule of their fees before any work starts. You can ask for an estimate of costs before you formally engage with mana whenua.


Leave a Comment

This Feature Coming Soon!