Learn about the past to prepare for the future

17.08.22 02:26 PM By WasteMINZ

For those working in waste management, resource recovery and contaminated land industries, relationships with iwi are expected to become even more important as the RMA reforms come into play.

Minister for the Environment David Parker recently said that the RMA had failed to deliver on the opportunities the legislation provided for Māori. The future resource management system will provide a more effective role for Māori locally, regionally and nationally. The initial draft legislation of the Natural and Built Environments Act (NBEA) and a new Strategic Planning Act (with spatial plans) released by MfE in 2021 will see Māori perspectives more integrated into New Zealand’s resource management system. The proposed legislation is expected to give effect to the principle of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, better recognise Te Ao Māori and provide a clear role for Māori in decision-making.

WasteMINZ is holding The Wall Walk, an interactive workshop taking you through historic events from a Māori perspective, in September.

Dr Simone Bull, host of The Wall Walk, says that building a trusting relationship with tangata whenua starts with ako, or learning.

“If you have a relationship that’s based on trust, it’s much harder for things to go wrong or, if they do, it’s much easier for that relationship to recover.”

For Simone, it’s important to learn about the past so that we can avoid mistakes in the future. That’s why the Wall Walk’s whakatauki is Hoki whakamuri, kia anga whakamua – Look to the past to help forge the future.

“At the Wall Walk, we learn a lot about ourselves, our colleagues and our nation in a way that doesn’t make anyone feel that they are responsible for the actions of the past.

“Some of our history is confronting but no one alive is responsible for it. If we can be better informed about the past, we can maybe stop repeating the mistakes of the past.”

WasteMINZ chief executive Nic Quilty says there is an ongoing conversation within the industry, particularly in the contaminated land management sector, about who to call and how to get advice from hapū and īwi on key issues related to their work.

To begin building partnerships based on a mutual understanding you must first listen and learn, Nic says. 

The Wall Walk takes participants through some of the most significant and controversial events and policies in New Zealand’s short history from a Māori perspective. It’s designed to raise collective awareness of key events in the history of New Zealand’s bicultural relations and sits nicely with any organisation committed to building stronger relationships with Māori.

The Wall Walk will be held on Wednesday, 28 September at Harbourside in Wellington. It costs $280+GST for WasteMINZ members and $420 +GST for non-members.

Find out more here.