5 Jul 2013

Scrapping of Rena iwi liaison roles 'not done in good faith'

8:22 am on 5 July 2013

Te Moana A Toi Iwi Leaders forum is to send a critical letter to the Environment Minister, following the scrapping of iwi liaison roles set up after the grounding of the container ship Rena.

The forum's chair, Te Awanuiarangi Black, says when the long term recovery plan for the Rena was launched last year, the intention was that iwi, the Environment Minister and local authorities would work in a partnership to monitor the plan.

He says that included the establishment of iwi liaison positions within the regional council, which proved to be very valuable.

But Mr Black says about three months ago, the iwi liaison positions were disestablished without warning.

He says a letter will be written to the Environment Minister saying the action was not done in good faith.

Mr Black says the letter will also outline that either the positions should be re-established or other means be looked at to ensure iwi are properly looked after through this event.

He says the then Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith, was told a long time ago, that iwi are not just an interest group, they are tangata whenua and Treaty partners.