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SESSION THEME | Voices - te ao Māori


Thursday 2 April,  

In 2018, the Kāhui Wai Māori was formed as a Māori advisory group to the Government's freshwater reform process. Their comprehensive report on the systemic reform required for freshwater in Aotearoa was released last year. A key recommendation it made was to 'Recognise and resolve iwi/hapū customary title and rights in water within the next years, including the implications in practice of this recognition.' This recommendation was made shortly after the Waitangi Tribunal issued its findings on the National Freshwater and Geothermal Resources Claim, which sets out ways in which the Government can give effect to iwi and hapū retained customary dominion of freshwater.

Kāhui Wai Māori members Mahina-a-rangi Baker and Paul Morgan (Chair of local Wakatu Inc) will discuss the implications of resolving Māori rights and interests to freshwater will mean for the planning context, in particular for the allocation of rights to take and discharge to water. This will be underpinned by Te Mana o te Wai, the fundamental concept of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. The presentation will include discussion around the likely mechanisms that will arise from the resolution of Māori rights and interests to freshwater such as; the allocation of rights to take and discharge on the basis of customary right, and; the potential development of a national co-governance body for freshwater, such as a commission or central regulator, for the purpose of ensuring Māori values, rights and interests are fully incorporated into freshwater management, including in the implementation of allocation frameworks. Examples of approaches that already recognise these rights will be provided by Kāhui members from kaitiakitanga and commercial contexts.

Presenters:  Dr Mahina-a-rangi Baker and Paul Morgan

Member, Kāhui Wai Māori

Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga, Ngāti Toarangatira

Mahina-a-rangi is a member of the Kahui Wai Māori, a forum that provides independent advice to the government on freshwater policy. She has a PhD in Resource and Environmental Planning. Her thesis was on mātauranga Māori quantitative modelling of freshwater catchments. She runs a small environmental consultancy and is currently Pou Takawaenga Taiao, for her iwi Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai.

Ngāti Rārua and Te Māhurehure

Paul Te Poa Karoro Morgan has been at the forefront of economic development for Māori in business for over 30 years. He has been involved with a range of Māori rights issues involving natural resources, including fishing, aquaculture and forestry.


His experience as a director and in governance roles spans both the public and private sectors across agribusiness, property, science, entrepreneurial start-ups and business generally. Current roles include Chair of Wakatū Incorporation, an appointment to Kahui Wai Māori – the Māori Freshwater Forum, and director of Ko Ngā Kai Whai Painga, the High Value Nutrition Science Challenge.


He was awarded a QSO for services to Māori business in the New Years’ Honours in 2010.


Paul is passionate about his whānau and whānau whānui and investing in and building a new future for the generations to come. He believes in making a positive difference in the Māori community and to Aotearoa as a whole.

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