14 Aug 2013

Te Arawa parliament on hold while watchdog group set up

7:13 pm on 14 August 2013

Te Arawa iwi has put on hold plans to set up a tribal parliament, while it focuses on mandating an iwi watchdog group to monitor Government proposals around mineral exploration.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is currently considering submissions on its plan to offer permits for exploration in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, including areas of the Rotorua district.

Last month, the region's Te Arawa tribes told ministry representatives they don't want any mineral permits granted within its Bay of Plenty tribal boundaries.

Te Arawa elder Toby Curtis says people will be asked to support a new entity named, Te Arawa Coalition.

He says a hui will be held in a couple of weeks, to seek a mandate for the group.

Dr Curtis says the coalition will monitor mineral exploration activities and will work towards ensuring his people's interest is upheld.