14 December 2021
EnviroWaste and Ngā Muka deepen ties
EnviroWaste’s evolving relationship with Waikato Tainui mana whenua marked a special milestone recently. EnviroWaste and Ngā Muka Development Trust entered into an agreement to work more closely together towards our common sustainability and wellbeing goals.
“The joint agreement lays the foundation for an enduring relationship based on mutual respect and shared values. For people and the planet, we both want to be good ancestors,” says EnviroWaste CEO Chris Aughton.
“Within Waikato Tainui, Ngā Muka Development Trust represents a cluster of mana whenua marae of the north Waikato where we operate our Hampton Downs facility. We recognise the importance of their role as kaitiaki of the area,” he says.
Ngā Muka will provide valuable input when considering the social, environmental and economic impact of EnviroWaste’s work in the region, says Aughton.
“We have exciting plans to strengthen our ties. We’ve been discussing initiatives that will create educational and employment opportunities for local Māori, incorporating Mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge) in our environmental monitoring and weaving tikanga (cultural practices) into our staff inductions, as well as native planting and restoration projects to clean up the Waikato river catchment.
“As we move forward together in partnership, it’s important to reflect on where we’ve come from. It’s fair to say local iwi were divided on whether Hampton Downs should go ahead in the early days of its development 20 years ago. When we signed the agreement, we were able to acknowledge the disappointments and reservations of the past and make a new commitment to stand together in the spirit of cooperation,” he says.
Ngā Muka chair Glen Tupuhi says the agreement is aligned with its strategic values. “The kawenata agreement is based on the Tai Tumu Tai Pari Tai Ao principles of the Waikato Tainui Environment Plan as well as aspirations of the Whakatupuranga 2050 blueprint for cultural, social and economic advancement for our people. We recognise that EnviroWaste are charged with performing a task that is a direct consequence of a modern consumer-based society as it has emerged and currently exists. We are committed to working with EnviroWaste to protect and minimize impact on our immediate environment.”
He says: “The kaitiaki responsibility compels us to actively support EnviroWaste, and community-based, local and central government initiatives, to accelerate initiatives that minimise waste through educational programmes, increase recycling as well as extract value in the alternative use of the by-products of waste.”
Picture caption. Left to right: Kay Davis, Chris Aughton, kaumātua Pat Kingi, Ngā Muka Development Trust chair Glen Tūpuhi.