A number of guiding principles are in place for the initiation, development and implementation of a system of company status operating under the conditions of a market economy. Once asked to conclude a mwR, a local authority must convene an hui to discuss how it can be developed, and a VAT rate must be concluded within 18 months or another period agreed by the parties. An existing resource management agreement can become a MWR by written agreement. The participation of the iwi authority in the political declaration and preparation of the plan, the consultation requirements and the development of control methods must be provided for the participation of the iwi authority in the political declaration and preparation of the plan. It may also provide for consultations on resource allocation issues and determine the circumstances under which iwi is considered a party. It cannot be amended or terminated without the consent of the parties. Once established, the local authority must verify the compliance of its policies and procedures with the ICC within six months or an agreed time frame. There have been negative reactions to these amendments, introduced at a late stage in the bill, with no possibility of obtaining further public notices. However, as a result of the recommendations of the special committee, substantial changes are often made to bills and it is not uncommon for such changes to reflect political expediency. Beyond the question of process, the fear of a tangata in the adoption of the resource management process seems exaggerated. The ability of iwi authorities to “participate in resource management and decision-making” is not the same as making decisions to unelected parties. Local authorities must agree on the terms of a company status operating under the conditions of a market economy and are unlikely to want to lose control of their regulatory responsibilities.
It should also be remembered that, in many cases, the decision-making of the RMA is already delegated to independent (and unelected) hearing commissioners who have no direct responsibility to the electorate. As with any person exercising power under the RMA, the procedural and material provisions of this Act continue to apply. There is no reason to expect that the parties to a measure of the RSME will be less able to work under the ARMA than any other person. These new provisions are undoubtedly a major step towards greater integration of iwi into the RMA processes. Given the goodwill on all sides, we have every reason to hope that better participation should yield better results. “This is an excellent example of Iwi and the partnership within the Council. We are in the standings and we are looking forward to finishing them. Prior to the amendments, councils had the power to obtain what is now required by law. The status of a company operating under the conditions of a market economy represents the government`s intention to strengthen Maori participation in decision-making and to hold councils to account.
“The legislation that allows these agreements has been in place for more than three years, so it is encouraging to see that we are beginning to meet historical challenges by establishing more effective relationships between councils and iwi in the RMA space.” On the west coast of Te Waka a Maui, Te R`nanga o Ngéti Waewae, Te R`nanga o Makaawhio, Te R`nanga o Ngéi Tahu and the West Coast Regional Council were the first to sign the Mana Whakahono Rohe Agreement as part of an amendment to the Resource Management Act 2017.