26 Sep 2012

Te Atiawa to continue support for salmon farm expansion

10:19 pm on 26 September 2012

The chair of a large iwi in Marlborough Sounds says it will not change its stance in supporting a company's salmon farm expansion plans, despite some opposition from its members.

New Zealand King Salmon wants to build nine more farms in addition to the five already operating, and a faction of the Te Atiawa iwi is not backing the plan.

Te Atiawa Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust has about 3500 iwi members.

Last weekend a hui was held, and the majority of about 40 members present voted against supporting the salmon farm proposal, because of ongoing environmental concerns, particularly on the pristine Queen Charlotte Sounds area.

But Te Atiawa chairperson Glenice Paine says under the proposed conditions, it would have some input into the management of the farms if they are approved.

She says the board is satisfied that the effect on the environment will be minimal compared to the economic benefits to the iwi group, including employment.

The salmon farm proposal, is before an Environmental Protection Authority hearing, which finishes early next month.