In a public announcement today, the Te Urewera Board released its draft principles to management the legal entity Te Urewera, formerly known as Te Urewera National Park. The principles are set to align the unique relationship between Te Urewera, its people and visitors.
In 2014 the Te Urewera Act formally recognised Te Urewera as a legal entity and it would belong to itself. Both Tūhoe and the Department of Conservation agreed to share the day to day management between them.
Te Urewera Board Chairman Tamati Kruger promises the management system will be new and innovative.
“Te Kawa o Te Urewera (management draft) is different. It asks us to stop and reflect on Te Urewera and what it means as a living system. A system we depend on for survival, culture, recreation and inspiration.”
The board believes previous methods used to manage Te Urewera are redundant.
“Te Kawa does not work the same way as other management plans, which focuses on rules and stocktaking. The traditional approach can frame nature as a set of discrete resources to be managed and used.”
Aotearoa is one of the first countries in the world to legally recognise a natural landmark as an entity. Te Urewera in the central North Island was the first and last year the Whanganui River on the West Coast became the second.
The closing submission date for the Te Kawa o Te Urewera draft is 20 July 2017.