2 Feb 2017

Iwi group digs in over salmon farm allotments

3:04 pm on 2 February 2017

An iwi group has accused the government of acting in bad faith over a new salmon farming space in Marlborough.

A salmon farm in the Marlborough Sounds.

A salmon farm in the Marlborough Sounds. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

Iwi was told there was no further space available for salmon farming in the area, and accepted a cash payment in a treaty settlement.

However, the government recently created space for the relocation of six King Salmon farms.

Te Tau Ihu fisheries forum chair Richard Bradley said the government had gone back on its word.

"So we took cash and then found out the government's quite keen on creating some new space, course the iwi in the top of the south are a bit hacked off about [that] because our preference was always for space, not cash."

"The government ... quite often where the iwi are concerned, have a habit of saying one thing and doing another."

Luke Southorn of the Ministry for Primary Industries said the new space was not studied before the settlement.

"That's really a matter of timing and when the settlement was reached back in 2015, at that time these sites hadn't been surveyed to the level that's required to know whether in fact they're viable," he said. "That work's now been done."

Mr Southorn said MPI was looking at options to figure out whether iwi could be included.