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Changes to Kaingaroa Forest Permits

Media Statement
Kaingaroa Timberlands

2 May 2005

Changes to Kaingaroa Forest Permits

With the passing of the Ngâti Awa Claim Settlement Act, changes will be required to the public permit system currently managed by Kaingaroa Timberlands.

The Act means that approximately 13,000 hectares of land in Kaingaroa Northern Boundary, Rotoehu East and Rotoehu West returned to Ngâti Awa at the end of last month this time, Kaingaroa Timberlands no longer have the right under its Crown Forest Licence to issue public permits for activities such as hunting on the returned blocks, or to allow open public access to the area.

Kaingaroa Timberlands General Manager Russell Dale, and Te Runanga o Ngâti Awa Interim Chief Executive, Wira Gardiner, said the two organisations were working together to develop arrangements for access to the land. Mr Dale said the primary concern was to ensure the safety of those using the forest and protection of the forest itself.

Mr Gardiner and Mr Dale said they intended to have a new approach confirmed by the end of May and would advise the public as soon as new arrangements were agreed.

In the meantime, Kaingaroa Timberlands will not be issuing permits for access to the land.

ENDS

Background

Further to the passing of the Ngâti Awa Claim Settlement Act, various tracts of land will be returned to Ngâti Awa. The first Crown Forest Licence land in the Central North Island to be returned to Ngâti Awa will occur at the end of April. This land includes the13,000 hectares of land in Kaingaroa Northern Boundary, Rotoehu East and Rotoehu West.

Kaingaroa Timberland's rights to use the land following the settlement are protected under the Crown Forest Licence held by the company. This means that Kaingaroa Timberlands can continue to use the land to protect, manage and harvest the existing trees growing on the land at the time of the settlement.


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