Media release

Media release: Renewed commitment to Mana-to-Mana underlines Kāi Tahu and ORC partnership

Friday 10 June 2022

Kāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnaka and ORC have underlined their shared commitment to meaningful partnership in managing Otago’s environment, through signing an updated Terms of Reference for the Mana-to-Mana forum.

Mana-to-Mana is a governance level agreement between the Otago Regional Council (ORC) and Kāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnaka, and seeks to deliver on a Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties that was initially signed in 2003.

Ōtākou Upoko and co-Chair Edward Ellison says Mana-to-Mana is an important platform for enabling Kāi Tahu to engage with ORC governance on place-based values and practices that are fundamental to Mātauraka Māori, and Te Ao Māori.

“Our natural environment is facing a number of challenges, and if we’re to succeed in meeting these challenges we need to recognise our mutual aspirations and responsibilities and work together.

“Mana-to-Mana provides a basis for Kāi Tahu and ORC to work together to ensure we are meeting our mutual obligations.”

ORC Chair Andrew Noone says Mana-to-Mana is a key component of Kāi Tahu’s and ORC’s commitment to partner with each other in our role as councillors, making decisions on behalf of Otago’s communities with respect to environmental management.

“The forum recognises the vital role of Kāi Tahu and the mutual desire for effective kaitiakitaka, or stewardship, of the Otago environment for current and future generations,” he says.


Otago Regional Council and Kāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnaka Mana-to-Mana forum attendees

Left to right: Edward Ellison (Upoko Ōtākou), Andrew Noone (Chair, ORC), Matapura Ellison (Chair, Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki),  Justin Tipa (Chair, Moeraki), Katharina Ruckstuhl (Executive Committee, Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki


Recent highlights of partnership activity include two iwi representatives being invite to join the Council’s Strategy and Planning Committee in 2019; the shared development of He Mahi Rau Rika (Significance, Engagement, and Māori Participation Policy) in 2021; the establishment of the Land and Water Regional Plan Governance Group in 2020, with membership of iwi representatives and councillors; and a deepening work programme at a staff level that covers the spectrum of ORC’s activity, and includes working together on Jobs for Nature-funded environmental projects.

Mana-to-Mana was first established in 2011. The updated Terms of Reference include all ORC Councillors becoming members, and the inclusion of Southland Rūnuka representatives in recognition of shared interests in parts of Otago. It is not a decision-making committee under the Local Government Act but a robust forum for discussion and exploring opportunities and challenges.