December 07, 2020
DOC admits Rangitoto guide choice flawed
The Department of Conservation says its decision to give Fullers a concession to operate guided tours on Rangitoto and Motutapu islands was wrong.
The Supreme Court had ordered the department to reconsider the application after Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki said Treaty of Waitangi principles hadn’t been taken into account.
Fullers did not take up its concession.
Deputy Director-General Mike Slater says DOC now realises the application should have been declined because it didn’t take into account preference and economic interests for mana whenua, as was required under the Conservation Act.
While the Supreme Court made it clear that iwi does not have a right to veto concessions nor any exclusive right to concessions, in some circumstances it may be appropriate to give preference to iwi with mana whenua.
Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki had wanted to establish tikanga based guiding.
Mr Slater says the department retains the ability to consider other applications for activity on the two islands, including from other Treaty Partners, which will be assessed individually and on their own merits.
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