New Zealand tribe visits islands

  • Aug. 9, 2010 3:00 p.m.

Submitted article–On Monday, Gwaii Haanas staff met with a delegation from the Waikato-Tainui tribe of New Zealand.The Waikato-Tainui tribe has entered into an agreement with the Government of New Zealand that has a great similarity to the one between the Haida Nation and Canada concerning Gwaii Haanas. In New Zealand, the tribe has established a co-management initiative with the government for the purpose of restoring and protecting the Waikato River for future generations. Similarly to the Gwaii Haanas Agreement, they have chosen to set aside the issue of ownership of the river, in order to meet the mutual goal of preservation and sustainability through respectful cooperation. To the Waikato-Tainui tribe, the Waikato River is like an ancestor, so the idea of ownership is unthinkable. The policies put in place regarding the river are guided by two principles of settlement: the health and well-being of the river, and co-management between the concerned parties. The Waikato-Tainui delegation has been travelling around Canada and the US to share their experiences with this style of environmental stewardship and co-management. It’s a very exciting opportunity for Gwaii Haanas to exchange ideas with others who share our values and our unique approach to management.