September 20, 2012
Public invited to comment on Nga Motu handover
New Plymouth District Council is asking the public to have a say about a plan to give Nga Motu or the Sugar Loaf islands to Te Atiawa and Taranaki.
The Office of Treaty Settlements wants to transfer the ownership from the district council and Taranaki Regional Council, while leaving them under the control of the Department of Conservation within the existing marine protected area.
Mayor Harry Duynhoven says the transfer would acknowledge the great historic and cultural importance of the islands to the iwi while continuing conservation work and public access.
The islands are the oldest volcanic features in Taranaki dating back to about 1.75 million years ago.
This provided a defensive bastion for the iwi when northern tribes invaded.