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Ed Sheeran

Kermadec sanctuary progress needs iwi input

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Greens co-leader Marama Davidson says the voices of iwi and mana whenua are critical in any efforts to set up a marine sanctuary around the Kermadecs.

Former Environment Minister Nick Smith is slamming the Government for failing to make progress on the giant sanctuary, which was first announced by then prime minister John Key at a United Nations conference.

Ms Davidson says Mr Key took a wrong approach and stuffed up.

All iwi have rights in the fishery around the islands as a result of the Maori Fisheries Settlement, but the only ones consulted were the northernmost iwi Ngāti Kuri, which claims mana whenua status.

"The Greens absolutely want to see protection of one of the most incredibly pristine marine areas on the planet. That's going to involve working with the leadership of iwi and mana whenua, including Ngāti Kuri who want to put in place protection and sanctuary not just around the Kermadecs but around entire areas of sea including their whenua as well," Ms Davidson says.

She is set to meet Ngāti Kuri soon to discuss its aspirations.

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