ChanceryGreen has acted for Waikato-Tainui on the tribe’s settlement negotiations with the Crown concerning management of the Waikato River. This has included advising on, and preparing the resource management aspects of, the Agreement In Principle and Deed of Settlement signed between the parties regarding the Waikato River claim. ChanceryGreen also assisted in drafting settlement legislation and Te Ture Whaimana - a Vision and Strategy to recognise the importance of the River and its surrounds to Waikato-Tainui.
Following signing of the Deed of Settlement and introduction of the settlement legislation, ChanceryGreen has also advised Waikato-Tainui in its negotiations to reach Accords with various Government departments and agencies. The purpose of these Accords is to establish a comprehensive and integrated framework for the ongoing management of the Waikato River.
Negotiation of the Waikato River claim was unique from a resource management perspective, in particular as it:
- was the first settlement to be based on the principle of the Crown and Iwi “co-managing” natural resources, in order to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of those resources for future generations;
- involved the development of Te Ture Whaimana which will have special and unique legislative status as the primary direction-setting document for the river, and will be overseen by a specially appointed co-governance body known as the Waikato River Authority (or initially known as the Guardians Establishment Committee);
- has provided a stronger voice for the Waikato River itself; and
- has united a very diverse set of communities and values affiliated with the Waikato River under a common goal to restore its health and wellbeing. This has ultimate benefit for everyone in the country.