4 May 2012

Tuhoe leads discussions over Te Urewera

9:03 pm on 4 May 2012

Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson says Ngai Tuhoe is going to be playing a much bigger role in future discussions over Te Urewera National Park.

The park's future is the subject of talks between iwi, recreation groups and local authorities.

At a Rotorua summit on Friday, Mr Finlayson said the Crown understood the special nature of the land in historical terms to the iwi and that a map of Te Urewera shows it's 'pepper-potted' with private land.

Ngai Tuhoe has previously stated it wants what it calls unencumbered ownership of the National Park, but that's been rejected by the Prime Minister, John Key.

The Crown favours shared governance and management of the land.

Recreation groups and local authorities attended the talks arranged by the iwi to build links between all organisations that use the park.

The iwi says it expects to have a more active role in the park than in the past - whatever the result of Treaty settlement negotiations.

Representatives from the Department of Conservation and the Office of Treaty Settlements were at the two-day meeting, which ended on Friday.