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Horizons welcomes Whanganui River treaty settlement

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Horizons welcomes Whanganui River treaty settlement

Horizons Regional Council representatives welcome the Whanganui River treaty settlement, the Te Awa Tupua Bill, which had its third and final reading in Parliament today.

Horizons councillor David Cotton, who represents Whanganui along with councillor Nicola Patrick, says the settlement it is an innovative piece of legislation that acknowledges a river as its own legal identity for the first time in New Zealand’s history.

“It is pleasing to see such a long standing and complex claim settled. It is a testament to the high level of engagement from both crown and iwi throughout this process,” says Mr Cotton.

Horizons councilor Nicola Patrick says maintaining the health and wellbeing of the Whanganui River is key and working from that standpoint will benefit the communities living and working alongside the river.

“Amongst other things, the settlement establishes mechanisms for multiple parties in the catchment including tangata whenua, councils and key sectors such as primary industries, recreation and tourism to work together to produce a whole of river strategy that puts the river at its core,” says Ms Patrick.

Horizons chairman Bruce Gordon says through the settlement discussions Whanganui iwi and the Crown have proactively engaged local and regional government at both a technical and political level.

“We look forward to continuing to develop and enhance the relationships established through the settlement process as we work with all parties on implementing the Bill.”

Ends

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