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Rivers Revested In Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board

Title to the beds of several rivers and streams flowing into Lake Taupo has now transferred from the Crown to Ngati Tuwharetoa through the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board.

The order vesting the riverbeds, known as the Taupo Waters, in the Trust Board was made in the Maori Land Court at Turangi on December 14 1999. It follows months of work by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and the Trust Board to define the areas of land affected.

" The significance of the vesting is that the ownership of the beds of the rivers and streams will now be by the Trust Board rather than the Crown. Public access to the tributaries for recreational use and enjoyment of the waters remains intact. " says Paul Jackson, manager Crown Property Contracts, LINZ.

" The vesting arises from a 1992 agreement between the Crown and the Trust Board. Under this agreement the bed of Lake Taupo and the rivers and streams transferred from Ngati Tuwharetoa in 1926 have been returned to the Board in trust for their beneficiaries and allowing New Zealanders recreational use" Mr Jackson says.

" The return of the lake and now the rivers and streams is the final phase of the work first initiated by the late Sir Hepi Te Heuheu with the Crown in the 1980s. It has been the will of his successor Tumu Te Heuheu, Paramount Chief, to have this work completed," says Rakeipoho Taiaroa, Secretary to the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board.

" The revesting confirms and enhances the substantial partnership agreements reached between the Crown and the Tribe since 1887. It is the Board's intention to manage its ownership in a way that will benefit the lake and streams as taonga of Ngati Tuwharetoa," Mr Taiaroa says.

The rivers and streams involved include the Tongariro river, and major parts of the Waihora, Waihaha, Whanganui, Whareroa, Kuratau, Poutu, Waimarino, Tauranga- Taupo, Waipehi, Waiotaka, Hinemaiaia and Waitahanui.

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