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Updates on fresh water, The Aotearoa Circle, urban development and more
18 December 2018
Updates on fresh water, The Aotearoa Circle, urban development and more
Welcome to the summer edition of Te Kōmiromiro
Kia hiwa rā, kia hiwa rā
E ngā mana, rau rangatira mā, tēnā koutou katoa
We have been increasing our capacity within the Mana Taiao team over the last few months and exploring opportunities to improve our engagement with you in the regions.   We want you to know we heard what you said during the nationwide hui with Minister Kelvin Davis and his staff from Te Arawhiti, the Office of Māori Crown Relations and we want to meet your expectations.   We are improving the coordination of our engagement activities, both within the Ministry, and with other government agencies where there are interrelating kaupapa.  Our goal is to be more connected with you!
Melanie Mark-Shadbolt has recently joined the Ministry in the role of Kaihautū – Chief Māori Advisor.   She will work directly with our senior leadership team providing advice and guidance – supporting a strategic approach to the Ministry’s engagement with iwi/Māori. 
We have also welcomed four rangatahi Māori to the Ministry for the Waikato/Waipā Summer Internship Programme.   They have brought their knowledge and a fresh perspective, and in turn are learning about what it means to work in the public service.
Finally, next year we will be talking to you about some significant kaupapa including the freshwater programme, the National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity and urban planning for our major cities. We also encourage you to take part in the two Select Committee processes – on the Zero Carbon Bill and the proposed Resource Management Amendment Bill.  Details are in the commentary below.
We wish you and your whānau a safe and relaxing festive season.  For further information or if you have questions please feel free to contact our team at:
Ngā mihi māhaki 
Lorena Stephen, Director – Mana Taiao 
Kahui Wai Māori 
The new Māori freshwater forum will play a key role in finding fair and long-term solutions to protect and restore Te Mana o Te Wai. The group has held a number of hui already this year, working alongside the Freshwater Leaders Group and the Science and Technical Advisory Group. 
Essential Freshwater - Developing policy for Te Mana o Te Wai
The Government has developed a new programme of work which focusses on protecting and restoring freshwater in Aotearoa.
Shared interests in freshwater: A new approach to the Crown/Māori relationship for freshwater
In addition, an approach has been developed within the Māori/Crown relationship that will create new opportunities for kōrero on Māori rights and interests in freshwater. 
Urban Water Principles’ report
The collaborative Urban Water Working Group recently released its vision for improving our kaitiaki role of urban waterbodies. The Group plans to focus on identifying good practices relating to the ten principles they have developed - producing recommendations on ways forward.
If you are interested in what’s happening in the freshwater programme please, subscribe to our water newsletter.
Housing and Urban Development
Urban Growth Agenda and Urban Planning
The aim of this programme is to make room for cities to grow up and out. It will make it easier for hapū/iwi to develop your whenua for housing by removing constraints – which can result in long and costly processes, and by creating better access to more affordable housing.
The Urban Planning project within the Urban Growth Agenda is focused on: 
  • how council planning rules, methods and practices are enabling or restricting urban growth 
  • the role of spatial planning in integrating decision-making, identifying strategic development opportunities and supporting quality built environments. 
We welcome an opportunity to hear your whakaaro in early-mid 2019.  Read more >>
New Housing and Urban Development Authority  
This Authority will work with iwi, councils and the private sector to increase the quantity of state and affordable homes, helping to create thriving communities. Seeking a partnership approach, the agency will create opportunities for hapū, iwi, Māori, post-settlement governance entities, Māori land trusts and incorporations and urban Māori authorities to participate in specific urban development projects. 
Resource Management
Improving our resource management system 
The Government has proposed a two-stage approach to reform, with the first stage involving an amendment bill being introduced to Parliament in early 2019.  This will focus on changes to resource consenting and Environment Court processes.  An opportunity to make a submission on this bill will be available during the Select Committee process.  Stage two will be a more comprehensive review of the resource management system, and will begin in 2019.   Read more >>
New publications and reports
Draft report of the Biodiversity Collaborative Group  
This report outlines measures to help stop the decline of our unique indigenous biodiversity and recommends greater recognition of Te Ao Māori in decision-making.  It also makes provision for Hutia to Rito, to recognize the broader connections between the health of indigenous biodiversity, the environment and people. The Ministry and Department of Conservation will consult with iwi/Māori until early 2019.  Read more >>
Our air 2018
This report has lots of new information about the state of our air in Aoteaora.  It includes the leading causes of air pollution, the health impacts of these, light pollution in our cities and what this means for all of us.  Read more >>
Environment Aotearoa (EA2019) report 
This ‘state of the environment’ report, produced every three years in partnership with Stats NZ, will be released in April 2019. This edition will be more accessible with an updated format and new website. EA2019 will be organised around five key themes; including ‘climate change’, ‘biodiversity’ and ‘human use of nature’.   Email to receive updates on the report.
If you are already familiar with our environmental reports, the Ministry is interested in hearing how you use them.  Please complete the short 3-minute survey.
Papakupu Para Kore, Zero Waste Glossary 
You may be interested to know that the national Para Kore organisation, with support from Te Kupenga Hao I Te Reo Māori, have created a zero waste glossary containing te reo Māori words people could use when communicating about waste, recycling and more. The glossary can be found on their website.
Ministry for the Environment Annual Report 
This report provides an overview our organisation – our people, our purpose and our way of working. It also outlines what the Ministry has achieved during the 2017/2108 financial year.  Read more >>
PFAS contamination investigations   
Iwi are being proactively engaged in council investigations underway in Auckland, Taranaki, Marlborough and Manawatu. PFAS’ are a large group of manufactured compounds used in industrial and consumer applications, often as treatments to repel oil, grease and water. One source of PFAS in the environment is from the historic use of fluorinated firefighting foams for flammable liquid fires.  Read more >>
The Aotearoa Circle: Mā te Kaitiakitanga ko te Tōnuitanga - Prosperity through Guardianship 
A coalition, involving public and the private sector agencies, has come together to lead the change on how we value and manage our natural resources – ensuring the ongoing prosperity of our economy while recognizing our shared responsibility for kaitiakitanga. The group’s first project is the formation of a Sustainable Finance Forum.  Read more >>
Plastic waste
After listening to what people had to say during the recent consultation on single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government has announced that a compulsory phase out of these bags will go ahead. This will happen by 1 July 2019.   Read more >>
Supporting Air New Zealand to reduce plastic waste 
Air New Zealand recently announced a commitment to swap out its single-use plastic packaging to compostable or recyclable alternatives on all Domestic routes by October 2019. The Ministry worked collaboratively with Air New Zealand on this scheme.  Read more >>
Involved in a business venture and want to learn more about the Circular Economy/Ōhanga Āmiomio programme to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, while also helping to decrease pollution and greenhouse gas emissions?  Read more >>
Zero Carbon Bill – Summary of submissions
We’ve created a report on the submissions the Ministry received during the consultation on the Bill – 21 of which were identified from iwi/Māori. The Select Committee process will begin next year and we encourage you to participate.   Read more >>
He aha ō whakaaro? 
We are interested in your feedback on this pānui. Do you find the information useful? Relevant? Are there kaupapa missing which you would like to hear about?
Please also let us know if you have stories from your own environmental work which you would be willing to share in the February issue. Contact our team at:
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