The Te Urewera - Department of Conservation (DOC) Tuhoe Partnership won the Crown-Maori Relationships award and the overall Prime Minister's Award in the Deloitte IPANZ Public Sector Excellence Awards 2017.
Working collaboratively, DOC and Tuhoe implemented ground-breaking new Treaty Settlement legislation, which granted Te Urewera legal personhood. Te Urewera comprises of over 2,000 square kilometres of native forest.
Recognising the need to change their approach, the leadership of both DOC and Tuhoe committed to working together, despite resistance on both sides. Both parties looked critically at how they engaged with one another, took deliberate steps to improve their working relationship and to build stronger trust and confidence.
This has resulted in Tuhoe infrastructure development and growing leadership and innovative DOC practices.
The speakers were Kirsti Luke, Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua Chief Executive and DOC Deputy Director General Mervyn English.