A sustainable vision for the Waikato River is another step closer following the Crown and Waikato Tainui announcement today of the membership of the Guardians Establishment Committee, created under the Waikato River Agreement in Principle signed in December 2007.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Cullen said the announcement was an important milestone and that he was pleased to see strong iwi, community and local government representation on the Committee.
The purpose of the Committee is to provide a forum by which the iwi of the Waikato River, the people of the region and the Crown on behalf of all New Zealanders can demonstrate kotahitanga or unity in developing a vision and strategy to restore and protect the health and well-being of the Waikato River for future generations.
The Guardians Establishment Committee is required to develop both a consultation draft and a final version of the Vision and Strategy, for recommendation to the Crown and Waikato-Tainui by 31 May.
Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Dr Michael Cullen and Tukoroirangi Morgan are Co-convenors of the Committee. The permanent co-chairs of the Committee will be Gordon Blake and Tukoroirangi Morgan.
The membership of the Guardians Establishment Committee must include:
• four members appointed by Waikato-Tainui;
• one member each appointed by Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa, Raukawa, and Ngati Maniapoto;
• up to seven members appointed by Ministers of the Crown;
• one member appointed by Ministers on the recommendation of Environment Waikato.
The Crown appointees are:
• Gordon Blake
• Jenni Vernon
• Bob Simcock
• Clint Baddeley
• Traci Houpapa
• Don Scarlet
• Alan Livingston
• Andra Neeley (nominated by Environment Waikato)
Waikato Tainui appointees are:
• Tukoroirangi Morgan
• Taipu Paki
• Linda Te Aho; and
• Rangitiaho Mahuta
Other river iwi have appointed the following representatives to the GEC:
• NgÃ„Âti Maniapoto - Weo Maag
• Raukawa - Stephanie O’Sullivan
• Te Arawa - Rawiri Te Whare
• NgÃ„Âti Tuwharetoa - Dean Stebbing
The first meeting of the committee will take place on 14 March 2008.