Ōpihi Whanaungakore – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa presents argument to the Environment Court to hear appeals

Ōpihi Whanaungakore – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa presents argument to the Environment Court to hear appeals


Yesterday, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa presented argument to the Environment Court against the Whakatāne District Council’s decision to grant consents to allow 77 Bunayn Road to be developed.

The first step was to argue that the Environment Court has the right to hear the appeals. The Applicant (MMS GP Limited) and the Whakatāne District Council argued that the Environment Court cannot hear Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s appeal (and the appeals by Ngai Taiwhakaea and the Ōpihi Whanaungakore trustees) due to a lack of jurisdiction. Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa argued that the Environment Court has the right to hear the full appeals.

We anticipate receiving the Judge’s decision within the next few months. We will post the decision on our website and Facebook pages when it is received.

Ngāti Awa files legal action to protect customary interests in the takutai moana

Ngāti Awa files legal action to protect customary interests in the takutai moana


Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa have filed proceedings in the Court of Appeal challenging certain factual findings of the High Court to grant customary marine title to the hapū of Te Whakatōhea which extends into the rohe of Ngāti Awa. 

The area that is being challenged is between a point in Ōhope that Ngāti Awa refer to as Toatoa to the mouth of the Ōhiwa Harbour.  The evidence of our Ngati Awa pūkenga, Tā Hirini Moko Mead, Dr Joe Mason and Dr Te Kei Merito is that the customary interests of Te Whakatōhea and Ngāti Awa converge at Ōhiwa Harbour, not Te Toatoa (or the point that Te Whakatōhea call Maraetōtara) in Ōhope. 

The contested area, and our appeal, is discrete but of significant importance to Ngāti Awa. 

Ngāti Awa otherwise celebrates the landmark decision of the High Court which has placed tikanga at the forefront of its interpretation of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 and also awarded customary marine title to Ngāti Awa, jointly with Te Whakatōhea, in Ōhiwa Harbour.