DOC looking at need for more Te Urewera funding

From Checkpoint, 5:44 pm on 2 February 2022

Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is promising a forensic examination of the funding available to Tūhoe to maintain Te Urewera and Lake Waikaremoana as one of the Great Walks, after an iwi appeal for more money.

Te Urewera was shut back in August when Delta arrived and the country went into level 4.

Tūhoe, the iwi and kaitiaki of the area said Crown under-resourcing had made the Lake Waikaremoana track unsafe.

Earlier this week an iwi leader told Checkpoint the lake is re-opening on Waitangi Day, and the Great Walk will reopen in two weeks - but Tūhoe will be talking to the government about extra funding.

Te Urewera Board Chair Tāmati Kruger said funding needs to be boosted back to “at least” the level it was before the Tūhoe settlement when the area used to be a national park.

Tūhoe receives about $2.5 million a year from the Crown for resources. When it was a national park Kruger said funding to DOC was at least $7 million.

Kiri Allan told Checkpoint she has not heard of funding being that much, and is investigating.