What does section 35A Resource Management Act (RMA) require?

Local authorities have a general duty under the RMA to keep records relevant to that Act. Section 35A sets out their specific obligations in relation to iwi and hapū. The RMA refers to iwi authority as “the authority which represents an iwi and which is recognised by that iwi as having authority to do so”. An iwi authority is not, therefore, necessarily the same thing as other representative iwi organisations recognised by the Crown, and so this site provides separately for the mapping of iwi authorities by districts and regions. Hapū must request either the local authority or the Crown (or both), through the group that represents the hapū, to be included in the record. Identification and recognition of both iwi authorities and hapū groups is, therefore, a matter for iwi and hapū.

For the purposes of the RMA a local authority must, amongst other things, keep and maintain, for each iwi and hapū within its region or district, a record of –

  1. The contact details of each iwi authority and any group representing hapū (as those terms are defined in that Act);
  2. Any area of the region or district over which one or more iwi or hapū exercise kaitiakitanga.

The Crown must provide to each local authority information on –

  1. the iwi authorities within the region or district and the areas over which one or more iwi exercise kaitiakitanga;
  2. any groups that represent hapū for the purpose of the Act within the region or district and the areas over which one or more hapū exercise kaitiakitanga;
  3. the matters provided for above that the local authority has advised to the Crown.

The local authority must include the information provided by the Crown in its records (along with other information it obtains including from iwi authorities and hapū groups directly). The information is used by local authorities for a range of matters but mainly related to notification of planning documents (proposed and operative) and providing for iwi to participate in resource management decision-making processes. Iwi participation arrangements may become more formalised through the addition, in April 2017, of the Mana Whakahono a Rohe process in the RMA.

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