Whaitua committees are groups of local people tasked with recommending ways to maintain and improve the quality of our fresh water. Whaitua is the Māori word for space or catchment.
Whaitua committees are responsible for developing a Whaitua Implementation Programme (WIP) together with their communities. A WIP describes community aspirations for water and helps set a platform for collective effort to improve the health of waterways. The WIP is implemented through new regulations and actions on the ground.
Committees are made up of local community members, iwi representatives, local authority representatives, and Greater Wellington Regional Council representatives.
This video explains the whaitua concept in more detail.
The Wellington Region has been split into five whaitua with a committee in each making decisions on the future of land and water management in that whaitua.
The following whaitua committees have been established:
The following two committees to be established are:
The Kāpiti Coast whaitua committee will be established in early 2022 and Wairarapa Coast will follow.
Whaitua Committees achieve a community vision for water by combining mātauranga Maori, citizen science, community knowledge, and expert information to fulfil the requirements of the Essential Freshwater package.