29 Jun 2015

More Maori appointed to conservation boards

8:07 pm on 29 June 2015

More Maori have been appointed to conservation boards in an effort to better represent iwi and hapū.

Te Urewera National Park

Te Urewera National Park Photo: 123rf

The role of the boards is to advise the Department of Conservation on local issues and act as a point of contact for the community.

In 2013, a Government report found they were not diverse enough.

The report found "boards should actively enhance their relationships with iwi and manawhenua through joint meetings and identification of projects of common interest".

The associate conservation minister, Nicky Wagner, said 42 percent of the boards' 135 members would now be Māori, up from 36 percent last year.

She said the boards were already working with communities to best decide what to do with conservation land.

"We want conservation boards to be really involved with what happens to land," she said.

"We've tried really hard to make sure that the people we appoint are Māori, deeply connected, and will bring their families with them."

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