The Wellington Regional Growth Framework region

Tangata whenua

Wellington’s earliest name, Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui, comes from the Māori story of how Aotearoa New Zealand was created. The legendary navigator Māui hooked a giant fish that, when pulled to the surface, turned into the landform now known as the North Island or Te Ika a Māui.

The region is the ancestral home to generations of Māori tribes. There are eight iwi partners to the area covered by the Framework, four of whom have reached Treaty settlements with the Crown.

The Framework is cognisant of Treaty partner iwi management plans and aspirations; including for housing, education, protection of land, water and other taonga and economic opportunities.

This Framework is an important opportunity for regional spatial planning to incorporate Te Ao Māori and build upon our existing partnerships. The values of tangata whenua are important and include Whakapapa, Mauri, Kawa and Tikanga, Kaitiakitanga, Cultural Landscape, Mahinga Kai and Māori Customary Use.

Ongoing consultation and participation will ensure the aspirations of iwi and hapū are taken into account through the spatial plan.

Our region

People have lived and prospered in this region since the Polynesian explorer Kupe first discovered the area and named many of its most prominent places including Te Whanganui-a-Tara, and Mana, Matiu and Mākaro islands.

For hundreds of years the region’s coastal areas have played an important role as a link between Te Ika a Māui (the North Island) and Te Waipounamu (the South Island). Key coastal landmarks were used by Māori to navigate across Cook Strait. This role at the centre of New Zealand, continues through to today with the Cook Strait ferries providing important freight links between the two islands, and critical national telecommunications and electricity infrastructure coming ashore on the region’s coast.

Today our region is an interdependent network of cities, towns and rural areas. It is the seat of Government with an upbeat image, and an emerging centre for economic enterprise, knowledge and skills, creative and cultural pursuits and lifestyle. It has a modern urban economy paired with a quality natural and social environment.

For the purpose of the Framework and this Foundation Report the region includes the territorial authorities of Masterton, Carterton, South Wairarapa, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Wellington, Porirua, Kāpiti Coast, Horowhenua.

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