To restore and rejuvenate the mana, mauri and ecosystem health of Te Waihora and its catchment.
A vision for Te Waihora
The Te Waihora Co-Governance shared agreement was first signed in 2012 between two parties - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Environment Canterbury. In 2014, Selwyn District Council joined, followed by Christchurch City Council in 2016, and the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai in 2019.
What is co-governance?
Co-governance describes an arrangement for negotiated decision-making between iwi and other groups like central and local government or any other organisation, particularly in relation to natural resources. In Aotearoa New Zealand, some arrangements are mandated in law through Treaty of Waitangi settlements. The Te Waihora Co-Governance Group is not like this – we have a voluntary arrangement.
Our co-governance arrangement is the country’s most significant voluntary iwi/Crown agency partnership. It is unique in New Zealand, perhaps even internationally!
Who funds the work?
The funding of co-governance is shared between the partners. The Whakaora Te Waihora programme (which is the operational programme of the Te Waihora Co-Governance group to restore the lake), was launched in 2012 with an allocation of $6 million from the Ministry for the Environment to help support the first 5-year cultural and ecological restoration work programme. A further $5.6 million came from Ngāi Tahu, Environment Canterbury, industry and the community. The Whakaora Te Waihora programme is now maintained with funding from Environment Canterbury along with funding from project partners and funders for specific projects. Outside this programme, many other projects are being delivered to restore the lake. These are funded and delivered by multiple organisations: For more details see projects.
What has been done so far
It is expected it will take at least two generations to restore and rejuvenate the mauri and ecosystem health of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. By working in partnership, restoration work has accelerated. A number of projects are underway, such as Whakaora Te Ahuriri – the creation of a wetland at Ahuriri Lagoon to improve water quality, biodiversity and mahinga kai values.
Te Waihora Co-Governance strategy
Co-Governance is the korowai of kaitiakitanga over Te Waihora and its catchment.
To be leaders providing direction for all those who have a role in, or responsibility for, restoring the mauri of Te Waihora while maintaining a prosperous land based economy and thriving communities for current and future generations.
Te Waihora Co-Governors
- Liz Brown, Ngāi Tahu Co-Governor, and Co-Chair Te Waihora Co-Governance Group
- Peter Scott, Environment Canterbury Chair, and Co-Chair Te Waihora Co-Governance Group
- Craig Pauling, Environment Canterbury Councillor
- Tyla Harrison-Hunt, Christchurch City Councillor
- Sam Broughton, Mayor of Selwyn District
- Jo Macpherson, Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai
(Ngāi Tahu currently has four vacancies)