When you lodge a resource consent application with us as a consent authority, you must assess all the relevant adverse effects.
This may include effects on iwi's cultural values and associations with the land or resource.
If your proposal is in a certain location or impacts a resource of cultural significance to iwi, then under the Resource Management Act you must assess the adverse cultural effects on the values and interests of tangata whenua.
As part of your application you're expected to identify:
It's not always clear when your proposal may have an adverse cultural effect. For instance, while some cultural heritage sites and precincts are known and recorded, there is an extensive history of iwi occupation and use of the land and water across the District. The historical and cultural associations endure and overlap.
Only individual iwi can talk to their own historical and cultural associations with the land or resource in question. This also provides them with the opportunity to exercise their kaitiakitanga over the land or resource.
To figure out the 'horses for courses' approach to whether and what iwi information is needed in the circumstances, our duty planners can help you, both before and after you speak to iwi.
Our duty planners can provide initial guidance on how likely they think that clarification or information is needed by talking to iwi. For instance - sometimes they may recommend that you talk to iwi first to confirm what the relative cultural significance of the land or resource to the iwi is.
If there's the potential for significant adverse cultural effects from your proposal, talking to the iwi early can avoid delays in processing, or the need to redesign your proposal later.
The potential depends on:
Talking to iwi helps in answering these.
Consultation is not mandatory, but is best practice.
Talking to iwi though can be the only way to assess the cultural effects of your proposal.
Consultation is not a veto, but rather a means of finding out information on the adverse effects and how to appropriately manage these.
The first step is to look at available public information and the specifics of your proposal.
See if you're proposal site includes, is adjacent or close to any recorded or acknowledged sites or resources of cultural significance:
It's also very likely you'll need to talk to iwi if your proposal:
Consider how likely it is that your proposal may affect iwi cultural values.
The adverse effects relate to the iwi's relationship, culture and traditions with their wāhi tapu, ancestral lands, water, and any other taonga. If it's likely there's going to be a potential impact on the land or resource as a result of your proposal, then talk to iwi to find out their views.
You should also look at any relevant iwi planning documents to understand the iwi's stated associations and values with their land and resources.
Even if your land disturbance activity is permitted under the TRMP, to comply with the permitted activity rules and the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 you must stop work immediately if you do find an archaeological site, including cultural artefacts. You must follow an accidental discovery protocol, unless you have already got an authorisation from Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.
This acknowledges that the public records are incomplete and there may be accidental discoveries that are protected under law. Some iwi hold culturally sensitive 'silent records' - so their involvement can help reduce or manage costs and delays from accidental discoveries during your project.
If it's likely that you may find such a site, we may ask you as part of your resource consent application to clarify how you'll go in and do your works 'with eyes open' to that possibility, so you can comply with these legal requirements. We look at things including the location of the site, the history of previous land modification and development, and known cultural and archaeological records for the area to determine how likely it is in the circumstances of your proposal.
We strongly recommend that you talk to our duty planners if you're uncertain about:
You should provide the amount of detail that's fit for purpose in the circumstances. This is relative to the scale, significance and likelihood of any adverse effect.
The level of information needed will depend on:
Our consent planners' role is to assess whether you have given us enough information with your consent application to assess the effects.
We recommend you get an estimate from iwi of what they think is required in the circumstances and why. They will also let you know the estimated costs for their professional services. You can then either:
Note that the cost is between the applicant and iwi - but if more or less assessment in our view may be needed, this may impact their estimated time / cost basis.
If there is the potential for adverse cultural effects, then the level of assessment that our planners will be looking for is based on answering the following about your proposal:
The level of detail is proportionate to the likelihood, scale and significance of the effects.
You're expected to include the information with your application, and also comment on how you've taken any assessment of cultural effects into account in your proposal. It's your choice to adopt any cultural requirements identified by iwi as conditions as part of your application.
Beyond those offered or agreed by you, our consent planners will only recommend conditions if they're directly linked to an identified adverse cultural effect or a rule in the Tasman Resource Management Plan.