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Iwi plans visitor centre for mountain sanctuary

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Karapiro iwi Ngti Kōroki Kahukura wants to build an interpretation centre for visitors to the Maungatautari wildlife sanctuary.

The maunga is surrounded by a 47km pest proof fence, offering a safe haven for many of New Zealand’s most endangered species.

Negotiator Willie Te Aho says the iwi is talking with the Waipā District council about making a joint application to the Provincial Growth Fund to build a centre.

He says the land leading up to the reserve is Maori land.

"We want to capitalise on the fact there is a drive towards understanding not ony our forest better but also the management of pests and those sorts of issues. We've got very good connections on the southern end and we want to from the Karapira northern end lock down investment and work together on that," Mr Te Aho says.

The iwi also wants to work with the council to fast track papakainga developments on general land.

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