Environmental Management Plan (2005)
Natural resources are ngā taonga tuku iho – treasures of the people handed down by our ancestors. The air, mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, coast, sea, and indigenous biodiversity have been left by our ancestors to sustain life for the generations that follow. It is the responsibility of the present generation, the kaitiaki, to ensure that such resources are protected, mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei, for us and our children after us.
As part of this kaitiaki responsibility, Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura has developed the Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura Environmental Management Plan 2005. The plan provides a framework for the Rūnanga to effectively apply tangata whenua values and policies to natural resource and environmental management in the takiwā (largely within Resource Management Act 1991 and Conservation Act 1987 processes).
This name of this plan is Te Poha o Tohu Raumati, after a sacred kelp bag that once contained the first fruits and the choicest foods from the lands and the sea at Kaikōura. The poha was emblematic of the knowledge and mana of the people of Kaikōura, and the wealth of the region's food supplies. Whoever held the sacred poha held authority over Kaikōura.
At a great ceremony, our ancestor Maru Kaitātea stepped forward from the others to hold the poha. He ate a small amount of its contents, thus overcoming the tapu of the bag and demonstrating his mana over the Kaikōura area.
By naming our plan Te Poha o Tohu Raumati, we are acknowledging the knowledge and the mana of Ngāti Kuri today. We see this plan as a symbol of our shared commitment to protecting and restoring the health of the land, water, mahinga kai and biodiversity of the takiwā. Just as Maru stepped forward to demonstrate his mana, we are stepping forward as kaitiaki, to ensure that our environmental mahi today honours the past, and ensures the future.