19 Apr 2012

Taranaki iwi happy with MED iwi relationships manager

7:15 am on 19 April 2012

A southern Taranaki iwi says it's pleased with how the Ministry of Economic Development's new iwi relationships manager is engaging with Maori over mineral exploration plans.

In 2011, the ministry hired a former senior policeman, Pieri Munro of Ngati Kahungunu descent, to become the first such manager working for its petroleum and minerals division.

Ngaruahine and other tribes in Taranaki have been in talks recently with the ministry about future mining and drilling ventures.

The chair of the iwi's incorporation, Daisy Noble, says since Mr Munro's arrival there have been lots of positive changes made, and she finds him very good to liaise with.

Before he was employed, Ms Noble says, Maori didn't even get a look-in - but engagement with the ministry has improved over the past six months.

She says that with Mr Munro now able to bring iwi to the table over mineral exploration matters, that it is also reflected in statute.