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Ed Sheeran

Leave Maori land alone says Maori Party

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Opponents of the Far North District Council’s significant natural areas policy are today setting out on a hikoi that will end tomorrow outside the council’s Kaikohe offices.

The process of identifying land with areas of native plants and animals, which the council says it is required to do for compliance with the Resource Management Act, has united landowners across the political spectrum against the council.

It’s compounded by the fact almost half the Māori land in Taitokerau could be declared significant and therefore subject to restrictions on future development.

Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa Packer says the anger is understandable, especially given the resistance by many councils to the creation of Māori wards.

"It is not for them to tell our mana whenua what to do with our whenua. We've spent a long time trying to hold on to what we have. The last thing we need is for officials and any other type of kāwana, other than ourselves to say how these tools and mechanisms should be used," she says,

Ms Ngarewa Packer says she’s picking up similar anger in other parts of the country, including her own south Taranaki home area.

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