5 Jun 2020

Council proposes Ngāti Tūwharetoa board monitor water in Lake Taupō catchment

10:39 am on 5 June 2020

In a first for New Zealand, a regional council is proposing to transfer work, such as monitoring beach water quality, to an iwi authority.

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Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Under the Waikato Regional Council plan, the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board would monitor beaches, regional rivers, rainfall and groundwater quality in the Lake Taupō catchment.

"Lake Taupō is a national treasure that holds special value for Ngāti Tūwharetoa, the local iwi of Taupō," the council said in a release.

"Ensuring the health of the lake is regarded as a top priority at both a national and local level.

"Ngāti Tūwharetoa have local knowledge about the lake and its tributary streams, and have a deep desire to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the well-being of the lake for the benefit of all."

The board's chief executive, Shane Heremaia, told Morning Report it was important the work was done in the most effective way.

"It's very important to us those waters are taken care of. We live on them, we eat from them, we drink from them.

"It's essential to us these waters get healthy, so participating in this monitoring function is only going to contribute to that."

He said there was an environmental team within the board with the relevant expertise which had been built up over the last couple of years.

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