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Ed Sheeran

South Island iwi challenges land reclassification

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Ngāi Tahu has filed urgent legal proceedings to stop the reclassification of stewardship land.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu says much of the land in the South Island is conservation land.

It says the reclassification process differs from what was discussed with it two years ago, and it is taking place without its involvement, in breach of the treaty partnership, the Conservation Act and the terms of the Ngāi Tahu Treaty Settlement.

The Green Party is also unhappy with the exercise, which it fears could be hijacked by mining and other commercial development interests.

Spokesperson Eugenie Sage says conservation principles, iwi Māori and the public interest must be at the heart of decision-making.

About a third of the crown land out into the conservation estate during the Rogernomics reforms of the 1980s was classified as stewardship land.

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