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Iwi and environmental management

Iwi and environmental management

Incorporating iwi issues and concerns in council plans and policies from the outset is a much better approach to environmental management than having iwi reacting continually to individual consent applications or environmental problems on a case by case basis, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

"The Resource Management Act provides for this and the government is encouraging the development of iwi environmental management plans to allow for proactive participation of iwi in resource and environmental management," Marian Hobbs said.

"Through the Ministry for the Environment's Sustainable Management Fund, a toolkit 'Te Raranga A Mahi', is available to assist whanau, hapu and iwi to develop environmental management plans.

"An example of this proactive iwi approach is Ngai Tahu's Freshwater Policy which describes the runanga's association with freshwater resources, the ways it wants to participate in freshwater management and the environmental outcomes sought.

"National's environment spokesman Nick Smith in his campaign to denigrate the RMA and its democractic processes ignores his party's abysmal record in environmental management. Under National the Environment Court was chronically underfunded leading to a huge backlog of cases.

"The Labour led government has doubled the Environment Court's budget to $4 million a year to clean up National's mess and the court is operating far more efficiently now. By reducing delays, you remove a weapon some objectors use."

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