Ngāi Tahu Values and Aspirations workstream

Stantec and Boffa Miskell are working through 12 different workstreams, with the Cultural Values and Aspirations workstream focusing on engaging with iwi and local rūnanga to ensure there are further opportunities to contribute and that mana whenua values are included where appropriate in the masterplan. Here is the update from the Cultural Values and Aspirations workstream.

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko te reo o te kea e rakona ki uta, ko te reo o te toroa e rakona ki tai. He kōtuku ki te raki, he kākāpō ki te whenua. He tūrakawaewae tā kā mean katoa.

The voice of the mountain parrot is heard inland and the voice of the albatross is heard at sea, a white heron in the sky , a ground parrot on the ground. Everything has its rightful place.

The Milford Opportunity Project recognises the ability for Ngāi Tahu to express its traditional kaitaiki relationship of care with the environment.

For Te Rua o te Moko Fiordland there are eight Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnanga who have shared interest in the decision making.

Papatipu Rūnanga exercise mana whenua on behalf of Ngāi Tahu whānui – for those who exist to uphold the mana of their people over the land, the sea and the natural resources.  Papatipu Rūnanga are part of the continuum that is Ngāi Tahu – they maintain the marae, greet and look after the visitors, bury the dead, help to raise the next generations and keep alive the traditions and stories of the Ngāi Tahu culture.

The Papatipu Rūnanga with authority in Te Rua o te Moko are Awarua, Waihōpai, Ōraka-Aparima, Hokonui, Makaawhio, plus Ōtakou, Puketeraki and Moeraki.

The summary below will outline the nine different strands which ensure the voice of Papatipu Rūnanga (and, therefore, Ngāi Tahu), is woven into all parts of the Milford Opportunities Project.

Firstly, the structure of the Milford Opportunities Project ensures iwi representation is accounted for:
  1. A Ngāi Tahu representative sits in the Milford Opportunities Project Governance Group
  2. A Ngāi Tahu representative sits in the Milford Opportunities Working Project
  3. The project has a dedicated workstream called Cultural Values and Aspirations, and a mana whenua engagement lead
  4. The mana whenua Advisory Group has been established. This group consists of five representatives from Papatipu Rūnanga.
Secondly, the project deliverables under the Cultural Values and Aspirations workstream ensure iwi values are woven into the project.

The key project deliverables include:

  1. A strategic document outlining how Ngāi Tahu engagement is to happen
  2. A document outlining how Ngāi Tahu intellectual property is to best inform the project while being respected and protected
  3. A statement of the mana whenua values for Piopiotahi and Southland in the Te Anau Basin and in the vicinity of the road corridor. This statement includes environmental values/aspirations; economic values/aspirations; cultural values/aspirations; social values/aspirations.
  4. A criteria for an evaluation framework to assess the masterplan options against the known cultural values
  5. Identification of potential opportunities to recognise mana whenua’s place in the landscape, guardianship and values through the masterplan.

In our most recent bi-weekly hui, we heard how Ngāi Tahu see Te Rua o te Moko Fiordland as the culmination of all artworks by the earthshaper, Tū-te-rakiwhanoa. Piopiotahi Milford Sound is connected to the accomplished artist, who is connected to other culturally significant sites, creating an iconography of cultural significance.

Of immense value to Ngāi Tahu is the integrity of their stories, and the maintenance of its heritage for a further 50 plus years.

Ngāi Tahu Values and Aspirations workstream