Ngāi Tahu challenges Government's stewardship land announcement

May 28, 2021

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is extremely concerned by the Crown’s latest stewardship land announcement, which is a clear breach of our Treaty partnership.

This reclassification process took place without our involvement. As Treaty partners this is unacceptable. A large proportion of land in the Ngāi Tahu takiwā is conservation land, and any proposals to reclassify that land are of the utmost significance to Ngāi Tahu.

As a Treaty partner, we should have been closely involved in the development of these proposals from the outset. That has not been the case. Ngāi Tahu has been substantially excluded from the process after a limited engagement some two years ago, in which a wholly different panel model was discussed.

This falls well short of what is required in a Treaty partnership, under section 4 of the Conservation Act and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and under the Ngāi Tahu Treaty Settlement.

On being advised of this announcement shortly before it was released publicly, we attempted to engage with the Minister’s office on our concern and find a way forward, but a constructive response was not received.

As a result, we have filed urgent legal proceedings to prevent any further steps being taken in relation to this matter.