27 Sep 2013

Te Arawa says RMA must not be diluted

6:40 am on 27 September 2013

Te Arawa Iwi Coalition set up to stop mining in the Bay of Plenty says it is important that the Resource Management Act is not diluted.

Companies have until early next year to seek tender for exploration permits to mine the central North Island Volcanic Zone.

New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals has referred the tribe's concerns with mining in wahi tapu (sacred sites) to the Resource Management Act (RMA).

But planned changes to the act are said to undermine environmental protection, with the Maori Party and United Future both opposing the move.

Te Arawa coalition facilitator Te Taru White says those politicians' initiatives to block changes to the RMA should be applauded.

He says under the circumstances, when sensitive wahi tapu issues are being referred to the act, it is important that it is not diluted and its current position remains.