The focus of tangata whenua participation in resource management is at the 'front end' of the planning process. IMPs must be taken into account when preparing or changing regional policy statements and regional and district plans (sections 61, 66 and 74).
As councils prepare or review parts of their district plans, regional plans, and regional policy statements under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), IMPs can:
help identify the tangata whenua of a region/district and their values and interests
assist the development of more specific plan provisions to better provide for the relationship of tangata whenua with important sites, areas and resources
form the basis for improved relationships between local authorities and tangata whenua consistent with the Local Government Act 2002 and the RMA, in particular clause 3B of Schedule 1 introduced by the 2005 amendment (Consultation with iwi authorities).