March 26, 2017
Iwi leaders welcome Maori Party concessions to RMA
Iwi leaders are welcoming concessions the Maori Party extracted for its vote to change the Resource Management Act.
The reform bill now includes a process for hapu and iwi to work more closely with local land regional government.
Selwyn Parata, the chair of the Natural Resources Iwi Leaders group, says it’s a significant step towards tangata whenua having their role as kaitiaki given effect.
He says the Maori Party was also able to scale back proposals to increase the powers of the Minister for the Environment.
Willie Te Aho from the Iwi Leaders Freshwater Group says the new Mana Whakahono a Rohe system is a big improvement in the way iwi can interact with councils.
"Even though the rights in the 1991 ACT have been there they haven't been used because the threshold was too high to get them over the line. Only in exceptional cases where treaty claims have proceeded the arrangements with council, has anything been done," says Willie Te Aho.
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