5 Aug 2013

Lake Horowhenua Accord signed by five groups

6:36 am on 5 August 2013

An agreement signed by five groups that have made a commitment to cleaning up a lake near Levin shows bitter relationships have been put aside.

The Department of Conservation, the Lake Horowhenua Trust, the Lake Domain Board, Horowhenua District Council, and Horizons Regional Council - stamped their mark on the Lake Horowhenua Accord on Sunday.

The lake is owned by the Muaupoko iwi.

About 100 people attended the ceremony at Kohuturoa Marae, west of Levin.

The rotomoana (lake) and its surrounding area have been the subject of multiple legal disputes between some tribal beneficiaries and governing entities.

Matthew Sword, the chair of Lake Horowhenua Trust, which represents the Maori owners, says in the past there has sometimes been a bitter relationship between some iwi members and governing organisations.

He says the agreement provides certainty about how they interact and move forward.

Mr Sword says the accord has been composed by the groups with the help of a facilitator.

He says the document shows the organisations' effort to take responsibility and look after the health of the lake.

Mr Sword says he's pleased the accord was signed, and was very happy that about 40 tribal descendants also inked their support on the document.

Mr Sword says Horowhenua Mayor, Brendan Duffy also delivered an apology for lake pollution caused by past councils.