The Kaipara District Council took its Treaty of Waitangi obligations serious and in doing so have won a Best Practice Award for its innovative approach to Treaty Settlement Land through the creation of a new “Treaty Settlement Land Zone”.
Developed by Kaipara District Council and Beca as part of Council’s review of its District Plan, the Treaty Settlement Land Zone was considered by the Awards Panel to demonstrate outstanding creativity and innovation in the development of a District Plan. The Panel also considered it showed the strong embedded philosophy the Kaipara District Council has for a meaningful partnership with iwi.
Mayor Neil Tiller said “Council has worked very hard at producing a District Plan that we can all be proud of and along the way has done some really innovative stuff. To have some of that innovation formally recognised is a real plus for the Kaipara District.”
The proposed Kaipara District Plan was publicly notified in October 2009. In partnership with Tangata Whenua, the planning process has facilitated the development of an enabling plan that recognises the unique constraints and opportunities associated with Treaty Settlement Land. This has led to a new zone being created - “Treaty Settlement Land Zone”.
This chapter of the District Plan has been development in partnership with Tangata Whenua. While it generally provides the same opportunities as general Rural land or Maori land within the District, the specific objectives and policies for the Zone provide for increased autonomy for Tangata Whenua to use their land for the cultural, social and economic benefits that were intended by the Treaty Settlements. Through the District Plan and its maps, this information will now be more accessible. The identification of these areas is also simplified for the public and practitioners.
Overall the Treaty Settlements Land Zone provides a valuable tool in plan development and being able to effectively achieve the Purpose and Principles of the Act (Part 2 Matters) and take into account the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti of Waitangi).