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Tangata Whenua funding for the Hauraki Gulf Forum

18 July 2001 Media Statement

Tangata Whenua funding for the Hauraki Gulf Forum


Conservation Minister Sandra Lee has announced her decisions on the payment of fees and expenses for tangata whenua representatives on the Hauraki Gulf Forum.

"The government has been negotiating with the tangata whenua as provided for in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act over the sum required to enable them to participate effectively in the Forum," Ms Lee said.

"I have now decided to set a sum that is above that originally suggested by the Department of Conservation but below the level sought by a number of the tangata whenua representatives."

Ms Lee said that the six tangata whenua representatives would be paid a total sum for fees and allowances of $22,000 per annum.

She said they would also receive communication and consultation costs of $18,000, and $58,500 for administrative support and capacity to enable them to take part in the work of the Forum's technical officers group.

Ms Lee said that she believed the payment levels were fair and reasonable.

In setting the level of payment, the Minister said she had taken into account the corresponding level of funding required for local authority representatives to participate on the Forum.

Ms Lee said the issue of funding support for tangata whenua was specifically addressed by Parliament during the passage of the legislation. She said the Parliamentary Select Committee made a strong point that iwi should be supported to participate in the Forum on an equal basis with local and central government representatives.

The Conservation Minister said the Hauraki Gulf Forum had important work to do on behalf of the wider community in advancing the conservation and sustainable management of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

The Forum was established by the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act to integrate the management of the Gulf, its islands and catchments and to promote their conservation and sustainable management.

It comprises 14 local authority representatives, three Ministerial appointees and six tangata whenua representatives.

Section 29 of the Act directs the Minister of Conservation to pay the tangata whenua representatives so they can participate in the Forum.

The Act provides for remuneration by way of allowances, travelling allowances and expenses in accordance with the Fees and Travelling Allowances Act 1951 and for payments to cover communication costs and consultation costs incurred by the tangata whenua representatives.

"I hope that the funding issue for tangata whenua representatives has now been resolved and that the Hauraki Gulf Forum can move forward," Ms Lee said.

ENDS

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