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Published: 2012-04-26 00:00:00

A ground-breaking Joint Management Agreement between Raukawa and the regional council – relating to co-management of the Waikato River catchment - has been approved by the Raukawa Charitable Trust and the council. The agreement relates to Raukawa interests in the catchment upstream of Karapiro.

The announcement of the agreement – the first to be successfully concluded by a river iwi and the regional council under the new co-management framework for the Waikato River – came after it was formally endorsed by the regional council today and by the Raukawa Charitable Trust on Monday. Both parties agree that it heralds an exciting new time in resource management within the Waikato region.

“It’s extremely satisfying to have concluded this agreement covering the way we and Raukawa will work together on protecting and restoring the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River,” said regional council chairman Peter Buckley.

“The very co-operative approach taken by Raukawa in developing this agreement is much appreciated by the regional council and augurs well for the future. I look forward to working closely with the iwi on implementing it.

“The health of the Waikato River faces many challenges and it is vital we work closely with Raukawa, our other iwi partners and stakeholders on meeting those challenges.”

Raukawa Charitable Trust chairman George Rangitutia agreed with Cr Buckley’s sentiments, saying that Raukawa believed it will be a whole of community effort to restore and protect the river and that the Joint Management Agreement is one of the key steps on that pathway.

“The river is a taonga for us, and we acknowledge that many within the Waikato community also feel a deep appreciation of the river.

“It is important we commit as partners, both the council and ourselves, to a pragmatic and sensible path forward for caring for the river.  This agreement will assist us to work together in a positive partnership to ensure we see real outcomes over time.”

A formal signing of the Joint Management Agreement is to take place in Tokoroa on 10 May 2012.