June 02, 2021
Shaw calls taihoa as councils jump gun on SNAs
Associate Environment Minister James Shaw says he will ask council to taihoa on designating significant natural areas until a national policy statement is approved.
Iwi and Māori landowners in Tai Tokerau are upset at indications from the Far North District Council that up to 48 percent of their land may contain significant indigenous vegetation or habitat of indigenous fauna, meaning they would need to seek resource consent if they want to modify or develop it.
Mr Shaw says the work on the national policy statement was started by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who was clear that councils were supposed to work with iwi, but some councils seem to be getting ahead of the process.
"We are going to be having a word with councils over the course of the coming weeks to say 'maybe taihoa on this until people actually know what's in it,' because otherwise you do run into trouble like they have up there (in Northland)," he says.
Mr Shaw says given the history of colonisation, it is no wonder iwi are suspicious of policies affecting land.
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