17 Sep 2013

Iwi accused of putting money before lakeshore

7:08 am on 17 September 2013

A group trying to combat erosion on Lake Taupo believes local iwi Ngati Tuwharetoa is putting money ahead of what needs to be done to protect the lake foreshore.

The Waikato Regional Council will not review consent conditions for electricity company Mighty River Power, which allow it to manage water levels in the lake.

The Friends of Lake Taupo group believes high lake levels are causing damage to the foreshore, and is disappointed a review won't be carried out.

The council disagrees and says it will manage erosion through a strategy, with help from the Ngati Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board.

Lobby group spokesperson Johnny Bell says the iwi did not back the review because it is paid a lot of money by the power company for water storage in the lake.

Tuwharetoa hapu own some of the largest land holdings around the lake which are at threat of erosion, and are supportive of the Friends of Lake Taupo, he says.

Ngati Tuwharetoa did not respond to calls for comment.