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Ed Sheeran

Conservation Board agenda irks iwi
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Image from Pixabay.

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Poutini Ngāi Tahu is calling for a shake-up in the composition of the West Coast Conservation Board because of what it says is an over-weighting of conservationists.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae chair Francois Tumahai, one of the two iwi representatives on the board, says over the past year it has strayed into areas that are properly the concern or management or mana whenua.

He says it’s lost the balance which is essential to the coast.

"You find them delving into areas and actually using Māori terms like mana - this area's losing its mana, the river is losing its mana - they've got no right to use that. Only kaitiaki can do that and that's us. So they're drifting across the line as far as we're concerned and all we are trying to do is bring a balance of conservation and economic development," he says.

Mr Tumahai says groups like Forest and Bird, Federated Mountain Club and Whitewater New Zealand are setting the agenda for the board to lock up land and resources in the region.

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