22 Feb 2011

Taranaki tribes press for greater resource control

8:45 am on 22 February 2011

Taranaki tribes are pressing for positions on district councils and for greater control over management of resources such as farmland, ironsands and windpower.

In December, the Waitangi Tribunal found Maori need decision-making power to protect their interests and prevent further desecration of sacred sites.

New Plymouth and South Taranaki district councils' iwi liaison committees have met for the first time since the tribunal's report on the management of oil and gas.

The representatives of South Taranaki's four tribes say their council should share control of all natural resources as the tribunal recommends.

They want a say in regulating windfarms to avoid a repeat of what they describe as the damage from 50 years of oil and gas developments.

Half a dozen wind monitoring masts have already been built in the district, but Darryn Ratana of Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi says a withdrawn windfarm consent application will likely be revived.

The iwi liaison committee representatives have also asked both district councils to introduce Maori electoral wards or appoint Maori to powerful committees.

The South Taranaki District Council says iwi are more than just affected parties in resource management, and it will dedicate time to getting iwi input into the district plan.

But a Taranaki member of the council's iwi liaison committee, Peter Moehau, says the tribunal's findings demand more.