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Ed Sheeran

Lake Wairarapa iwi votes for clean start
Lake Wairarapa - Gettimages

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A majority of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki Nui a-Rua iwi members have voted in favour of a proposed $93 million settlement that gives them back the bed of Lake Wairarapa.

There was just over 71 percent support for both the settlement and for buying two Landcorp farms - Wairio Station beside the lake and Rangedale Station near Eketahuna.

A third of eligible voters took part.

Settlement trust chair Robin Potangaroa says it came after strongly-voiced opposition and shows the majority of the iwi is ready to move forward.

He says Wairio in particular has cultural and strategic significance.

"There are papakainga on those properties because it is a mixture of properties, it's not one farm, and we have in our settlement an outcome that will be called the Wairarapa Moana Statutory Board and with that we hope to give due effect to the cleaning of Lake Wairarapa and owning farmland right next to the lake will give us good skin in the game," Mr Potangaroa says.

The iwi is likely to buy the farms under a joint venture or partnership model to make its settlement funds go further

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