June 07, 2022
Historic reserve to cover pounamu trails
Ngai Tahu leader Lisa Tumahai is welcoming the proposed creation of an historic reserve out of some of the Department of Conservation’s stewardship land on the West Coast.
A Ngāi Tahu mana whenua board which is working alongside DoC to review 600,000 hectares of land in Tai Poutini which was not assessed for its conservation and other values when it was parked with the department in the 1980s.
Ms Tumahai says that meant it was not available or treaty settlements, but the iwi does not want to see it alienated further, such as being added to a national park.
“Land that is recategorized and thrown into national parks basically removes any ability of us to fulfil any kaitiaki responsibilities. Access, decision making or any influence on decisions around national parks is basically zero,” she says.
The largest proposed reserve would be known as Tarahanga e Toru Historic Reserve, covering about 180,000 hectares.
Ms Tumahai says it includes three main pounamu trails and is at the heart of many Poutini Ngāi Tahu legends, customs, and traditions.