Monday, 31 May 2021
Te Poari o Ngātiwai (Ngātiwai Trust Board) opposes the implementation of Significant Natural Areas (‘SNA’) on whenua Māori. This comes as awareness of the issue and impact on Māori grows.
“We agree in principle with the intention of the policy to protect our indigenous biodiversity on general title lands, but Māori land should be exempt” affirms Aperahama Edwards, Chair of Te Poari o Ngātiwai.
SNAs sit within the Draft National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (‘NPSIB’) which the Ministry of the Environment consulted on in March 2020. While the NPSIB has not been adopted at a national level, Northland Regional Council included SNAs in their Regional Policy Statement which requires local Councils to implement. Wildlands Consultants was engaged by Council to complete a mapping project which mapped indigenous biodiversity across the Northland region.
“We have a concern that as hapū, iwi we were not advised by Council that they intended to contract Wildlands to implement this project across our tribal estates. Who designed the project and who owns the data collected? That’s our whenua data” says Hūhana Lyndon, new Te Raukura (CEO) mō Te Poari o Ngātiwai.
Despite the National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity not being finalised; Northland Regional Council has chosen to adopt SNAs into their Regional Policy Statement; councils in Northland are now required to implement SNAs.
Far North District Council is currently consulting with affected landowners with responses required by 11 June 2021.
Ngātiwai Trust Board has concerns for the northern sections of our rohe; with impacted whenua Māori landowners worried about the implications SNAs will have on their ability to utilise their lands in the future.
“We do not support SNAs being applied to whenua Māori, as kaitiaki we are capable of protecting our indigenous biodiversity and affirm our rights guaranteed through He Whakaputanga me Te Tiriti o Waitangi. However, we have seen widespread clearing of lands in our rohe; general title lands should be the focus of this policy” states Hūhana Lyndon.
Barry Caldwell, Communications Advisor, Te Poari Ngātiwai
Phone: 021 728 291
Aperahama Edwards, Chairman, Te Poari Ngātiwai
Phone: 09 430 0939
Hūhana Lybndon, Raukura (CEO), Te Poari Ngātiwai
Phone: 021 0744 673