26 Mar 2012

Waikato-Tainui wants to ensure seafood resources protected

7:29 pm on 26 March 2012

The iwi authority for Waikato-Tainui has put forward its submission on a proposed law change to boost environmental controls over oil and gas exploration in its rohe, which includes its traditional harbours and marine areas.

Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Incorporated is one of the 129 groups that have made submissions to the Select Committee overseeing the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf Environmental Effects Bill.

After feedback from Maori leaders about lack of guidelines for mineral exploration and conditions mining companies will work under, the Government acknowledged loopholes in the law and introduced the EEZ Bill to deal with these issues.

Waikato-Tainui wants to ensure the bill protects the health and well being of the marine environment to preserve them for future generations; include it in any decision making processes; and is consistent with Crown and Waikato-Tainui agreements and conditions.

It says local iwi are still dependant on coastal areas to gather seafood and any negative effects on the environment will have an adverse impact on these important food resources.

The Incorporation also wants the bill to protect Waikato-Tainui's outstanding claims to the West Coast harbours that were illegally confiscated by the Crown in the 1860s.