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Historic Moutoa Gardens Board Appointed

The Minister of Conservation, Sandra Lee, has announced the establishment of a reserve board to administer the Moutoa Gardens Historic Reserve in Wanganui.

The establishment of the board follows a tripartite agreement signed a year ago by the Crown, the Wanganui District Council and tangata whenua aimed at ending longstanding iwi protests at Moutoa, also known as Pakaitore.

“I believe the board is a significant step forward for relationships and a way in which the community, tangata whenua and the Crown can work together for the common good. A joint management approach reflects the history of the gardens where Whanganui iwi and settlers first met and which has traditionally been a joint meeting place.

Retaining the gardens as an historic reserve ensures existing public access and use rights. The reserve, which is almost a hectare, is now no longer vested in the council but instead comes under the control of the new board, which is scheduled to meet for the first time on 10 April.

The Minister has appointed three Atihaunui a Paparangi, three district council and one Crown representative to the board for a three year term that coincides with the local body elections.

They are: Piripi Haami, Taylor Wiari and Mariana Waitai (Atihaunui a Paparangi), Randhir Dahyr, John Lithgow and James McGregor (council) and Rangipo Metekingi (Crown).

“The board will serve as a basis for building, harmony and mutual respect within the community and I wish the board well for the future, ” said Ms Lee.

It is the first reserves board created since the Department of Conservation was established 15 years ago.

Ends

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