24 Sep 2012

King Salmon hearings move to local marae

11:20 pm on 24 September 2012

Hearings into New Zealand King Salmon's plans to expand farms in the Marlborough Sounds will be moved to the Waikawa Marae next week to allow iwi to speak in their own cultural setting.

The company's application to build nine more farms on top of its five existing operations is before the Environmental Protection Authority.

Over the past month hearings have been held at the Civic Centre in Blenheim.

The expansion bid attracted 1400 submissions, 800 opposing the proposal and 400 in support.

Waikawa Marae chairperson Rita Powick says many iwi felt that holding some hearings at a marae would be better on a cultural and heritage level.

She says the panel will then be able to hear directly from iwi, likely to have their customary rights affected by the planned development.

New Zealand King Salmon's proposal includes a change to the Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan to re-zone eight specific areas for salmon farming.