Council Planning recognised by NZPI

(Posted on: April 5)

Te Pūtahi: The Confluence

An innovative approach to developing a Cultural Impact Assessment Report

Manawatū District Council has been recognised by the New Zealand Planning Institute for our approach to planning for the new Feilding growth precinct.

We were required to produce a Cultural Impact Assessment report that analysed the effects Ngāti Kauwhata and others of developing Feilding’s new residential growth area.  

Te Pūtahi: The Confluence, is the result of the project that centres around the Cultural Impact Assessment which was prepared for Ngāti Kauwhata and the Manawatū District Council.

There are three partners to the project: Ngāti Kauwhata, who are acknowledged as mana whenua in Feilding; Manawatū District Council, who commissioned the assessment ; and Massey University’s  Resource and Environmental Planning Programme.

Beginning life as a technical report, the Assessment evolved into a much broader collaboration.

The Te Putahi concept was inspired by Professor Durie who has discussed how names have stories. The confluence – te pūtahi – of the Manawatū and Ōroua rivers is a significant spatial feature in the tribal histories and landscapes of Ngāti Kauwhata and neighbouring iwi.

Just as iwi join at that confluence, so the confluence metaphor enabled the many different strands that were part of this project to be brought together.  When combined, and considered as a whole, these strands support outcomes that are much broader than the project itself.

As a result the ancestral waterways of Ngāti Kauwhata are being safeguarded and enhanced for future generations, in particular the Mangakino Stream, relationships between Ngāti Kauwhata and the Manawatū District Council continue to be strengthened that can benefit the whole community.

Additionally, a new generation of Planners who have been trained to work respectfully, sensitively and knowledgeably with Māori, are experiencing the benefits of applying mātauranga Māori in their approach to planning and walking the space between councils and Māori to benefit everyone.