9 Oct 2012

Treaty deals drive iwi relations role

6:56 am on 9 October 2012

Department of Conservation in Northland executives say the anticipated future settlement of Treaty claims by iwi in the region has been an added incentive to appoint its first iwi relations manager.

On Monday Aaron Taikato - who's originally from Bay of Plenty and has an army and outdoor tourism background - was officially welcomed into the job at a powhiri in Whangarei.

Acting Northland Conservator Alistair Drake says the department must have the ability to build new relationships with tangata whenua and strengthen existing ones, which is something the new position will involve.

He says because of the myriad of tribes in Northland, having someone who can relate well to them is really important.

Mr Drake says before treaty settlements with iwi in the region are finalised in the next few years, DOC has to be organised and structured in ways which will be of greatest assistance to Maori.