Relationships with DOC and iwi
The Trust works closely with the Department of Conservation (DOC), which manages Hauturu on behalf of the Crown, to support its work in the ongoing protection and restoration of the island’s diverse ecosystems. While the Trust is recognised as a key partner and stakeholder it does not have a formal role in the island’s governance structure, which since 2012 has existed as a co-governance relationship between the Crown and the local iwi, Ngāti Manuhiri. The Ngāti Manuhiri Claims Settlement Act 2012 made provision for redress to Ngāti Manuhiri for Hauturu and established this co-governance relationship.
Hauturu is a place of great importance for Ngāti Manuhiri and the other iwi who share ancestral ties to it. Until 1896, the island was a permanent home for Ngāti Manuhiri, a refuge and a burial place for Ngāti Manuhiri rangatira. Gardens on the island and the surrounding sea provided resources for and sustained many generations of Ngāti Manuhiri. Significant cultural remains include stone structures, terraces, middens, burial sites and seven pā. In the 2012 Settlement, the Crown acknowledged the long association of Ngāti Manuhiri with Hauturu and vested the Island to the iwi, who then gifted it back to the people of New Zealand for its continuance as a nature reserve.
As the recognised kaitiaki of Hauturu, Ngāti Manuhiri are actively engaged with DOC in the management of the island. A joint working party between DOC, the Auckland Conservation Board and Ngāti Manuhiri has been formed to support the co-governance arrangement and to develop the Conservation Management Plan for Hauturu. This plan is being developed according to a statutory planning process under the Conservation Act and will take two years to complete.