A unique collaboration between Bay of Plenty iwi and authorities is examining the impact we are having on local waterways, and working to change it.
A plan of how to help restore and enhance the health of the Kaituna River, produced by a collective with representatives from different groups, has just been released.
"Rather than various groups working in silos, it was about creating a document that everyone can attune to, and work collectively as one for the benefit of the community," Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority chair Dean Flavell said.
The collective was established in response to a significant amount of pollution in the lower wetland area of the river.
"The plan is about addressing water quality, water quantity - those things that have been taken from the river. It's taken four years of talk, submissions, hearings and listening to the local community.
"We think we've come up with a winner with regards to a guide for how the river will be used in the future."
The Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority was born out of the 2014 Tapuika Claims Settlement Act, and has representatives from four local councils and several Tapuika iwi trusts.
"I think we are seeing more and more of these co-governance and co-management regimes around the country," Flavell said.
"For us here, it is a new one as it addresses the needs that we have for this particular catchment."
The plan was passed at the Moko Marae in Te Puke without opposition.
It will now be put into legislation, ensuring the future of the awa will be protected by all who call it home.