14 Nov 2011

Iwi protests Tauranga harbour dredging

8:25 pm on 14 November 2011

A Bay of Plenty tribe has led a hikoi against plans for the Port of Tauranga to deepen and widen the harbour channel.

Te Runanga o Ngai Te Rangi iwi says about 200 of its members marched on a hot Monday morning to the city's Armitage Hotel, where the Environment Court is hearing appeals against the project to allow access to bigger ships.

Tangata whenua are opposed to the dredging consent, saying damage will be done to kaimoana and the cultural relationship with Mauao, or Mount Maunganui.

The manager of the tribe's Resource Management Unit, Reon Tuanau, says although the grounding of the cargo vessel Rena has highlighted the port's dredging plan it won't influence the court's ruling.

He says the Environment Court will stick to the facts of the case.