March 19, 2018
Sanctuary plan for Whanganui headwaters
A Ruapehu tribal collective wants the crown to spend some it its conservation budget building an ecological island in the headwaters of a tributary of the Whanganui River.
Uenuku Charitable Trust chair Aiden Gilbert says now the three iwi – Uenuku, Tamakana and Tamahaki – have signed their treaty settlement they are keen to start working in partnership with the crown.
He says most of the rohe is conservation land, but that doesn’t mean the iwi shouldn’t have a say.
The proposed Te Manganui-o-te-Ao Sanctuary would have a fenced pest-free core area, surrounded by a halo or buffer zone that is intensively pest managed.
The sanctuary would be a regional source of rare forest birds that will disperse naturally to surrounding forests.
Mr Gilbert says the partnership with the crown would allow the iwi to exercise their kaitiaki or governance role effectively,
The sanctuary could also form the basis for new ventures catering for tourists seeking a wildlife and cultural experience.
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