4 May 2012

Free access to national park paramount - minister

4:07 pm on 4 May 2012

Minister for Treaty Negotiations Christopher Finlayson says free access to Te Urewera National Park will be the bottom line of any settlement with Ngai Tuhoe.

The future of the national park has been the subject of discussions between iwi, recreation groups and local authorities at a summit in Rotorua on Friday.

The Bay of Plenty tribe has previously stated it wants what it calls unencumbered ownership of the national park but that was rejected by Prime Minister John Key.

Christopher Finlayson says it was clear from what he heard at the summit there are common views on the park particularly when it comes to unimpeded public access and respect for bio-diversity.