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Ed Sheeran

Taniwha tax an essential protection

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Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is concerned at any moves by the Auckland council to reduce protection of Maori heritage sites.

The council is moving to purge a list of 3600 sites where a cultural assessment is needed from iwi before development is approved.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says it’s being done after consultation with iwi, and is tidying up lists inherited from the previous councils.

Mr Henare says he hopes the council is not influenced by critics who call the protection mechanism a taniwha tax.

"It’s not just about taniwha or deity, it's about the impact on the environment which many of our iwi and hapu are kaitiaki for, and it's important they get the cultural buy in and the cultural agreement when they do these developments and I think it's really flagging the intention of not only this Government but local government in just forcing through housing developments and I don't think that's a good move," he says.

Peeni Henare says it’s important that large scale developments get the broad agreement of a wide range of stakeholders including mana whenua iwi.


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