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Waikato River and Waipa River co-management

Regatta on the Waikato River, Ngaruawahia
Rangatahi (youth) prepare their waka at the annual regatta celebrations at Ngāruawāhia

On this page: What's happened so far, important legislation and documents, news updates and media releases

What’s happened so far

Arrangements between the Crown and iwi ushered in a new era of Crown-iwi co-management of the Waikato River catchment. Co-management provides iwi with mechanisms to manage the river in partnership with central and local government.

Legislation was passed in 2010 covering Waikato-Tainui and its involvement in co-managing the Waikato River from the Karāpiro Dam to Te Puaha o Waikato (Port Waikato).

Later that year legislation was passed covering Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Raukawa and Te Arawa river iwi (specifically the hapū Ngāti Tahu - Ngāti Whaoa, Ngāti Kearoa - Ngāti Tuarā and Tuhourangi - Ngāti Wahiao). The co-management arrangements under this bit of legislation covers the Waikato River from Te Toka a Tia near Taupō through to Karāpiro.

A third piece of co-management legislation covering Ngāti Maniapoto - the Ngā Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Act 2012 - came into effect in April 2012.  It was the catalyst for Ngāti Maniapoto to enter into co-management arrangements with local government authorities for the Waipa River. 

The co-management arrangements include joint management agreements between iwi and the regional council on the way we will work together.

The first of these agreements was signed with Raukawa on 10 May 2012 at Pikitu Marae, south-west of Putaruru, while an agreement with Te Arawa river iwi was signed on 28 August 2012. An agreement for river related lands with Waikato-Tainui was signed on 10 December 2012, and the agreement with Ngāti Maniapoto was signed on Wednesday 3 April at Te Kuiti Pā. An agreement was signed with Waikato-Tainui on 18 June 2013 in Hamilton. 

The most recent agreement was signed with Tuwharetoa on 26 February 2018. The signing ceremony was held at Waikato Regional Council.

Find out more about the Waikato River Authority and the Waikato Regional Council’s role in co-management.

Find out more about Hauraki iwi Treaty settlement negotiations with the Crown.

Important legislation and documents

Treaty settlement legislation

Waikato Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act

Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Raukawa, Te Arawa River Iwi Waikato River Act

Ngā Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Act 2012

Deeds of settlement

These documents can all be found on the Office of Treaty Settlements website (

Waikato River Authority

Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River

Joint management agreements with Waikato Regional Council

Waikato Raupatu River Trust (Waikato-Tainui) and Waikato Regional Council (Co-management Agreement for Waikato River Related Lands)

Te Poari Matua O Raukawa (Raukawa Settlement Trust) and Waikato Regional Council

 Addendum to the joint management agreement - Raukawa Settlement Trust and Waikato Regional Council 

Te Arawa River Iwi Trust and Waikato Regional Council

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board and Ōtorohanga District Council, Waikato District Council, Waikato Regional Council, Waipa District Council and Waitomo District Council

Waikato Raupatu River Trust and Waikato Regional Council - 18 June 2013

Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board and Waikato Regional Council - 2018 [PDF, 4.7 MB]


Iwi management plans

An iwi management plan is a document developed by iwi to address matters of resource management activity of significance within their respective rohe (region). The plans can contain information relating to specific cultural values, historical accounts, descriptions of areas of interest (hapū/iwi boundaries) and consultation and engagement protocols for resource consents and plan changes.

View iwi management plans that have been submitted to council for the Waikato region.

Waikato-Tainui JMA signing Photo of Waikato Regional Council councillors and Raukawa Charitable Trust board members at the Joint Management Agreement signing
Members of the Waikato-Tainui Executive Board  and Waikato Regional Council representatives at the signing of the Joint Management Agreement in June 2013.  Raukawa Charitable Trust Chairman the late George Rangitutia, regional councillors and Raukawa board members at the Joint Management Agreement signing in May 2012
Photo of regional councillors and TARIT trustees signing the Joint Management Agreement
 Te Arawa River Iwi Trust trustees and regional councillors signing the Joint Management Agreement between Te Arawa River Iwi Trust and Waikato Regional Council in August 2012.   Members of the Waikato-Tainui Executive Board and regional councillors at the signing of the Co-management Agreement for Waikato River Related Lands in December 2012.
 Maniapoto Maori Trust Board Chair Tiwha Bell (3rd in from the left) alongside fellow signatories to the Joint Management Agreement from the five councils in April 2013 at Te Kuiti Pa.   Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board staff, local kaumatua, regional councillors and Waikato Regional Council staff at the Joint Management Agreement signing ceremony.


News updates and media releases

22 May 2018 Ceremony celebrates new era in resource management for Lake Taupō
8 September 2016 Major milestone reached on Waikato River management
18 June 2013 Major new Waikato River agreement signed
3 April 2013 Historic Waipa River agreement signed at Te Kuiti Pa
22 August 2012 Iwi and councils to sign Upper Waikato River agreements
10 May 2012 Historic Waikato River agreement signed at Pikitu Marae
26 April 2012 Waikato River agreement between Raukawa and regional council
November 2011 Waikato River Authority keen to work with groups to access funding
17 October 2011 Historic stage for all guardians of the Waikato River
15 July 2011 Collaboration the key to handling big land and water issues
10 June 2011 New road map for land and water
22 September 2010 Waikato Regional Council welcomes constructive Land and Water Forum report
15 April 2010 Waikato-Tainui and Waikato Regional Council share vision of a clean and healthy river
18 February 2010 Council optimistic about river partnership with Waikato-Tainui
19 November 2009 River settlement could lead to tighter Waikato Regional Council regulatory processes




Photo of waka and swimmer using the Waikato River
A swimmer and a waka full of paddlers enjoy the Waikato River