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Ed Sheeran

Ngāti Waewae seeking Kahurangi park access

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West Coast iwi Ngāti Waewae is keen to take a prominent role in management of Mokihinui River catchment land being added to Kahurangi National Park.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage last week announced 64,400 hectares of conservation land north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to the park.

Francois Tumahai from Ngāti Waewae says the iwi had supported Meridian's plans to build a dam on the river, which did not go ahead.

He says the Conservation Department had to overcome the iwi's concerns about continuing its cultural practices within the national park.

"Once they move from stewardship it changes everything in terms of access and so forth so we're opposed to it basically because we want these issues addressed. It took some time but we reached common ground on how we can address these points and we can address them through a review of the park plan," Mr Tumahai says.

While Ngāti Waewae has mana whenua over the Mokihinui River catchment, there are shared interests over the rest of the Kahurangi National Park with Te Tau Ihu iwi.



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