Oral Presentation 9th Australian Stream Management Conference 2018

Ko au te Awa, ko te Awa ko au: I am the River, and the River is me – What it means to belong to the Whanganui River (#60)

Rawiri Tinirau 1
  1. Nga Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust, Whanganui, WHANGANUI, New Zealand

An indigenous people’s claim and relationship to the Whanganui River has been the longest running litigation in the history of Aotearoa New Zealand.  The people of the Whanganui River – Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi – finally settled this claim in August 2014, and the settlement was enacted in March 2017.  The settlement established a new legal framework, including legal personhood for the Whanganui River, recognition of intrinsic values, a human face and voice for the Whanganui River, as well as strategies, resources and commitments to advance social, cultural, environmental and economic imperatives.  This presentation will discuss the origins of the Whanganui River and its people, provide background to the Whanganui River claim, and explain key elements of the settlement and implications for the future.