Consents a sore point for Northland Māori

8:08 am on 15 July 2015

Māori from around Te Taitokerau have told the Northland Regional Council it must find better ways to involve tāngata whenua in vetting resource consents.

A beach between Cape Reinga and Cape Maria van Diemen in Northland.

Photo: 123RF

The council's consents manager, Colin Dall, briefed the new Regional Māori Advisory Committee about the consenting process last week.

Mr Dall said the council provided marae and iwi with a copy of almost all applications for resource consents in their rohe - and the council must process them within 20 days.

The committee seized the chance to offer feedback with one member telling Mr Dall to get the language right - the Resource Management Act says councils must consult Māori, not iwi - and in the north, hapū are the go-to groups.

Mike Kake, from Ngāti Hau, said marae committees meet once a month and many consents arrive too late for any input from tāngata whenua.

Mikaere Miru, for Te Uri o Hau, said many hapū could not deal with the sheer volume of consents they were supposed to advise on, and desperately needed support to exercise their function as kaitiaki.

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