12 Apr 2010

West Coast iwi says dam compensation legitimate

12:14 pm on 12 April 2010

A West Coast iwi has made what it says is its final comments on a controversy over its withdrawal of opposition to a hydro dam project on the Mokihinui River in Buller.

Power company Meridian Energy confirmed last week it had paid the iwi an unspecified amount of money to fund cultural projects to offset the impact of the project on the mauri (life force) of the river.

In a statement on Monday, Ngati Waewae chairman Francois Tumahai says the payment is a legitimate approach under the Resource Management Act.

He says if the dam is built, a cultural fund has been agreed on which will mitigate cultural losses.