Ngati Maniapoto is one of the iwi of the Tainui waka. They take their name from their eponymous ancestor Maniapoto. Ngati Maniapoto occupy the south west area of the Tainui waka rohe. The extensive tribal estate spans Te Rohe Potae (King Country).
The environment is of paramount importance to the iwi and hapu of Ngati Maniapoto. There are many activities within the Maniapoto territory that cause Ngati Maniapoto concern about the welfare of the environment. Ngati Maniapoto waterways, forest, coastlines, air and lands have been affected by agriculture, tourism, forestry, industry and urban settlement. While Ngati Maniapoto are not opposed to development, they consider the historic cost to the environment to be unacceptable.
The Maniapoto rohe contains a number of environmental features of national and regional significance including:
Te Rohe Potae is characterised by its limestone, karst formations and caves of the Waitomo area. The caves are of customary significance to Ngati Maniapoto and are of national importance for their ecological and ecotourism value.
Ngati Maniapoto consider that they have disproportionately contributed to commercial development and the public good in Te Rohe Potae (Maniapoto territory) and that they have sacrificed lands, clean waterways, food resources, and tribal health and well-being for the sake of progress. The iwi is firm in its commitment to protect and restore the health of the environment within their rohe.
Ngati Maniapoto do not subscribe to the principle of identifying only some specific areas protection and limiting use in these areas. The Ngati Maniapoto philosophy is that all aspects of the environment are important and equally worthy of protection. The use may differ according to the nature of the site, e.g. land use of urupa* will differ from land use of food sites, however, all must be protected from degradation and pollution.
Note: The following is a summary of some matters that are a concern to Ngati Maniapoto. It is not comprehensive and does not attempt to do any more than note the issues. This information is sourced from ‘Maniapoto Maori Trust Board’s comment on the Waikato Regional Council’s draft Regional Plan’ (June 1998). Reference to Ngati Maniapoto representatives and authorised documentation is recommended in order to fully appreciate the Ngati Maniapoto perspective and its context.
Waikato Regional Council recognises and acknowledges that Ngati Maniapoto are tangata whenua of their rohe. Waikato Regional Council also recognises and acknowledges that important physical, spiritual, cultural, social and economic values held by Ngati Maniapoto in regard to the natural and physical resources in their rohe.