This guide is set out in four sections.

  • Section 1: What's in it for tangata whenua? explains the RMA and its importance to you.
  • Section 2: How and when can tangata whenua get involved? explains and illustrates the various opportunities that you have to become involved in resource consent decision-making, and suggests how you can be most influential in the process.
  • Section 3: What do tangata whenua need to participate effectively? provides practical guidance on the structures, systems and agreements that need to be in place for you to take advantage of the opportunities available.
  • Section 4: What can tangata whenua expect, and what is expected of tangata whenua? provides guidance on the ways of interacting that are most likely to build the effectiveness of your organisation or group.


This guide uses the term 'tangata whenua' to refer to any organisation or group representing tangata whenua interests. Where the guide uses the term 'organisation or group', this should be read to include Māori trust boards, rūnanga, iwi incorporated societies, iwi charitable trusts, marae committees, marae trustees, iwi resource management units, hapū, whānau and any other organisation or group participating in resource management on behalf of tangata whenua.

The guide also refers to 'decision-makers'. For the purpose of this guide, 'decision-makers' refers to the local authorities (the city, district or regional councils) or their representatives (councillors, independent commissioners and council staff) that make decisions under the RMA. These are often referred to simply as 'councils'.


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