April 23, 2014
Ngati Porou signs accord with crown
The Government has agreed to an annual summit between key ministers and East Coast iwi to monitor the progress of a new relationship accord.
The accord, which was promised in Ngati Porou’s 2012 treaty settlement, was signed in Gisborne yesterday.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson says the crown will work with the iwi to identify projects with the greatest impact for the largest number of people.
One of the first fruits was a memorandum of understanding on erosion control for the Waiapu River catchment.
Mr Finlayson says the river is central to Ngati Porou’s identity and of great spiritual, cultural and economic significance, and the restoration project will involve the Ministry for Primary Industries, the iwi and Gisborne District Council.
Meanwhile, Government ministers have dashed hopes that the damaged rail line between Gisborne and Napier will be reopened.
Releasing the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study yesterday, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said when it was running the line accounted for less than 3 percent of freight from the region.
Instead the emphasis will be on upgrading the roads to take heavier vehicles.
The report touted more innovative, higher-value processing of the region’s existing primary sector products, as well as tourism and large scale oil and gas production.
Economic Development Minister Stephen Joyce says those industries would require more skilled workers, so there are excellent opportunities to further lift training, particularly for young Maori.
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