18 Jun 2015

Iwi says kāore to swamp kauri mining

7:25 pm on 18 June 2015

A Far North iwi with vast resources of swamp kauri is refusing to sell the taonga - despite the high prices it is fetching overseas.

Digger unearthing ancient kauri.

A digger unearthing ancient kauri in Northland. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Te Rarawa chief Haami Piripi said there was an enormous amount of the timber preserved under tribal lands in the area known as Sweetwaters.

Swamp kauri: What is it and how is it extracted?

He said the iwi had decided it would stay there for the immediate future - because it was a finite resource and mining had caused serious damage to wetlands in other places where it had been extracted.

Mr Piripi said Te Rarawa had an offer to extract the kauri but turned the company down.

He said his iwi would want to see value added to swamp kauri here in Aotearoa, and better techniques for restoring wetlands, before agreeing to mine it.

Lake Ngatu now discoloured by run off from nearby kauri mining.

Locals say Lake Ngatu has been discoloured by run-off from nearby kauri mining. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Kauri mined former wetland next to dune lake Rotoroa.

Kauri was mined from this former wetland next to a dune lake in Northland. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Kauri logs unearthed from peat await sale.

Kauri logs - freshly unearthed from peat in Northland. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

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