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Draft Te Urewera plan focusses on ‘living system’

Te Urewera's status as a legal entity gives the park the highest level of protection. Photo: Te Urewera Board

A draft plan has been released to help lay new groundwork for Te Urewera, the national park-turned-independent legal entity.

As a result of the 2014 Te Urewera Act, which established the park as a legal entity, the Te Kawa o Te Urewera draft details the new relationship between people and the land. The Te Urewera Board speaks for and represents Te Urewera, with management shared between DOC and Tuhoe.

The term ‘te kawa’ means to lay out protocols; thus Te Kawa sets out the management guidelines for the park – but with a twist.

“Te Kawa does not work the same way as other management plans, which focus on setting rules and stock-taking,” Te Urewera board chairman Tāmati Kruger said. “That traditional approach can frame nature as a set of discrete resources to be managed and used. Te Kawa is different. It asks us to stop and reflect on Te Urewera and what that means as a living system we depend on for survival, culture, recreation, and inspiration. Te Urewera has its own identity that is legal, but also physical, environmental, cultural and spiritual.”

The draft is open to public comment until July 20, 2017. To read the draft and make a submission, click here.