Welcome on behalf of Te Urewera Board!
In September 2014, Te Urewera Act 2014 made significant changes to the framework for Te Urewera. Te Urewera Act was a key part of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement negotiated between Tūhoe and the Crown. In brief Te Urewera Act 2014 recognises:
- Te Urewera is and has always been the homeland of Tūhoe
- Te Urewera is recognised in law as an identity and legal person in its own right
- Tūhoe are the tanata whenua (host) and kaitiaki (guardians) of Te Urewera
- Te Urewera Board is appointed to represent the legal personality of Te Urewera and to provide governance over Te Urewera
- Te Urewera Board may grant permits to manuhiri (visitors) on behalf of Te Urewera and Tūhoe (tanata whenua and kaitiaki of Te Urewera) for activities such as hunting.
Te Urewera Act provides for you to experience and enjoy Te Urewera. With that comes responsibilities – from Tūhoe as tanata whenua to welcome and care for you, our manuhiri; and also from you in how you care for, respect and give back to Te Urewera.
A contribution can come in many ways. It is in how you conduct yourself with respect and how you contribute. Most useful to those who look after Te Urewera will be your feedback and comments on what you see and hear during your time in Te Urewera. Your eyes and ears are valuable to us, to tell what is good and healthy and what needs attention, care and management. This represents some of our thinking and are just some of the changes we would like to introduce over the coming year.
Te Urewera Act is a fundamental change to the way we see, respect and live off the land. Some of the changes will be generational and need time for debate and your input. Others may seem more straightforward. In 2014, we begin with the Board’s commitment to enable and support your hunting access pre-Christmas. This framework and system is an introduction only. We acknowledge the wide-ranging experience and expertise that lie with our stakeholders and we will continue to work with them and you to develop and refine a system designed to enhance your experience and relationship with Te Urewera.
Please take care out there, your safety and the safety of others is important to us. And above all remember Te Urewera is a living place, more than just forests, rivers and land, it deserves yours and our respect and care.