Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Act 2012

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: The Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti


Ā muri kia mau ki te kawau mārō. Whanake ake, whanake ake

Na Maniapoto


This tongi whakamutunga speaks of a strength and unity of purpose that has been said to characterise the history of the Maniapoto Iwi.


The tongi has guided the Maniapoto Maori Trust Board since its establishment in 1988 and will continue to do so as the Board strives to achieve the aspirations and development objectives of the Maniapoto people.


The Board was constituted under its own legislation and is a Maori Trust Board within the meaning and for the purposes of the Maori Trust Boards Act 1955.


The Deed in relation to Co-Governance and Co-Management of the Waipa River is the second negotiation that the Board has concluded for the benefit of Maniapoto. The first negotiation was the settlement of the commercial interests of Maniapoto in fisheries and aquaculture in 2007.

Ko te mauri, ko te waiora o te Waipa ko Waiwaia. Ko Waipa te toto o te tangata! Ko Waipa te toto o te whenua, koia hoki he wai Manawa whenua! Ko Waipa tetehi o nga taonga o Maniapoto whanui.


The genesis of the co-governance deed was the deed of settlement between the Crown and Waikato-Tainui signed on 22 August 2008 (and subsequently replaced by a new deed on 17 December 2009) in respect of the Waikato River.


The Waipa River is acknowledged as a significant contributor to the Waikato River. Accordingly, the Crown and Maniapoto initialled an agreement in principle on 4 September 2008 for co-governance and co-management of the Waipa River. The agreement in principle was subsequently replaced by a co-governance agreement signed on 3 November 2009.


On 27 September 2010, the Crown and Maniapoto signed a deed in relation to co-governance and co-management of the Waipa River.

Te Mana o te Awa o Waipa


The Waipa River is of deep, cultural significance to Maniapoto. It is a taonga to Maniapoto and respect for it lies at the heart of their spiritual and physical wellbeing and their tribal identity and culture.


To Maniapoto, the essence and wellbeing of the Waipa is Waiwaia, a spiritual guardian of all things that are the Waipa River. Its importance to Maniapoto is boundless.


To Maniapoto, the Waipa River is a single indivisible entity that flows from Pekepeke to its confluence with the Waikato River and includes its waters, banks, bed (and all minerals under it) and its streams, waterways, tributaries, lakes, fisheries, vegetation, floodplains, wetlands, islands, springs, geothermal springs, water column, airspace and substratum as well as its metaphysical elements with its own mauri.


Maniapoto have a deep felt obligation to restore, maintain, and protect the quality and integrity of the waters that flow into and form part of the Waipa River for present and future generations and to the care and protection of the mana tuku iho o Waiwaia.


To Maniapoto, their relationship with the Waipa River, and their respect for it, gives rise to their responsibilities to protect Te Mana o Te Wai and to exercise their kaitiakitanga in accordance with their long established tikanga.

Te Mana o te Wai


Te Mana o Te Wai is paramount to Maniapoto. Historically, Te Mana o Te Wai was such that it would provide all manner of sustenance to Maniapoto including physical and spiritual nourishment that has over generations maintained the quality and integrity of Maniapoto marae, whanau, hapu and iwi.


The obligations are intergenerational and extend to Nga Wai o Maniapoto – all waters within the Maniapoto rohe – whether the waters are above, on, or underground.

Te mana tuku iho o Waiwaia


The obligation to the care and protection of te mana tuku iho o Waiwaia extends to instilling knowledge and understanding within Maniapoto and the Waipa River communities about the nature and history of Waiwaia.

Te Awa o Waipa – i nga wa o mua


The relationship between Maniapoto and the Waipa River is historic, intellectual, physical, and spiritual and is expressed by the people of Maniapoto in various ways—


The awa was a playground, a place to fish for inanga and for tuna, for freshwater crayfish, watercress, taraute and parera. During World War II and rationing, the awa was the source of kai. Significant tuna pa structures could be seen if the river level dropped during a dry spell. The 1958 flood changed that.


The Waipa is a sacred river where the tohi rituals were performed, where the umbilical rites were observed and where the purification rituals were undertaken.


The river chants its farewells to our departed ones, its murmuring waters bid welcome to our newborn and to our illustrious visitors from afar.


Like an atua I wing my way into the heavens above! I gaze down below! There below lies my river Waipa, cutting her way over the breast of my native land. My eyes brim with tears at the vision of splendour, ’tis the love for my river that meanders away. My eyes gaze intently upon the deep pools of the river they are the myriad lairs of Waiwaia; the atua who gathers food for the people. The rocks of the river are an easy pillow for my head. The deep stretches of the river are a bed that rejuvenates my spirit and body. I am sustained by the river, by taking the waters of the ancients, drawing the waters from the atua, by procuring the very water of life!


The rippling waters are clearly heard by my ears. Within the rippling I hear the murmurs of the past, of days gone, of times long ago! Thus the heart is prompted to proclaim, “The river is an institution of tradition, an institution of knowledge, a festal board of treasured wisdom!”.


Waipa she is the life blood of the people. Waipa she is the life blood of the land, verily she is! Indeed she is the unfailing spring of the earth! She is the water that anoints the thymos of man to bind to the tribe the waters of life that issues forth from the lineage of the atua. She is the water that blesses the umbilical cord to ensure the health of the descendants of Maniapoto. ’Tis the water that permanently renders the knot of the navel cord secure and fast.


The source of my river is at the foot of Rangitoto, it is Te Pekepeke! Let her flow on she is the Kauhanga-nui (the Great passage) the Kauhanga-roa (the Long passage)! The waters ploughed by the paddles of the many flotillas of Maniapoto of times passed. Let her flow northwards to where the currents do mingle within the Waikato there before the countenance of my King.


Flow on oh waters to the north and to the west! Go out from Te Puaha to Tangaroa who lies broken upon the shore, and to the courtyard of Hine-kirikiri. Go on! Go on depart for distant place far away!


Describing the likeness of Waiwaia... as having an amazing appearance... the ripples of the water reflecting in the sun under the moonlight... Rainbows that appear in the waterfall.... But the most important part of Waiwaia is that it is the water itself and without it man could not survive.

Te Awa o Waipa – i enei ra


The pollution, degradation, and development of the Waipa River have resulted in the decline of its once rich fisheries and other food sources which had for generations sustained the people of Maniapoto, and their way of life, and their ability to meet their obligations of manaakitanga; and the decline has been a source of distress to Maniapoto.


The deterioration of the health of the Waipa River, while the Crown has exercised overall responsibility for the management of the Waipa River, has been a source of distress for the people of Maniapoto.


The acquisition of land along the Waipa River has disassociated the people of Maniapoto from their River. It has led to the flooding of particular culturally significant sites and impeded and altered the natural flow of the Waipa River; this is a further source of distress to Maniapoto.


Kei enei ra, kua kore haere te mana o nga tupuna, kua ngoikore te mauri o te awa. He ahakoa taku noho patata tonu ki a ia i tenei ra tonu nei, kua kore ahau me aku huanga e haere ki te awa ki te mahi kai, ki te kori, ki te whai oranga wairua ranei.


Hei whakamutunga ake i enei kupu korekore noa aku, me kaha tatou ki te whakahoki i te oranga tinana, te haringa ngakau, te pikinga wairua ki to tatou nei awa. Pai marire.

A new era of co-governance and co-management


Maniapoto and the Crown agree that protective measures are necessary to safeguard the Waipa River from further deterioration and that co-governance and co-management arrangements provide a foundation for the restoration and maintenance of the Waipa River.


Maniapoto do not accept they have ever relinquished their authority or rights over the Waipa River, or its tributaries.


The Waipa River is a significant contributor to the waters of the Waikato River.


Maniapoto acknowledge that the restoration and maintenance of the Waipa River, as part of a larger catchment, needs to be coordinated with the management of the Waikato River. This whole of river approach is consistent with the desire of Maniapoto to keep intact the mauri of the Waipa River in its entirety.


The Crown believes that it has responsibilities in relation to the Waipa River on behalf of the regional community and the nation as a whole.


Maniapoto and the Crown maintain their own viewpoints in respect of the Waipa River that converge in the objective to restore and maintain the Waipa River.


Maniapoto and the Crown aspire to a lasting and meaningful relationship based on shared and reciprocal principles.


The Crown acknowledges its relationship with Maniapoto under the Treaty of Waitangi and the co-governance framework and co-management arrangements for the Waipa River are a reflection of this Treaty relationship.

The Parliament of New Zealand therefore enacts as follows: