Maori to consult not govern on Wellington town belt

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(Dominion Post) Maori will work in partnership with to protect and enhance the city’s town belt – but iwi will not have a governing role.

Nine guiding principles to ensure the long term future of the 387-hectare town belt were approved last week by the council’s strategy and policy committee.

The principles include the council protecting, enhancing and governing the town belt in trust under the 1873 Town Belt Deed and subsequent legislation on behalf of the citizens of Wellington.

Another principle states: “The council will work in partnership with mana whenua to manage the town belt”.

The council’s environment portfolio leader Helene Ritchie said “this reflects the Treaty of Waitangi, our ongoing relationship with the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and the importance we place on the memorandum of understanding the council has with mana whenua”.

The Town Belt Deed will remain as the key governing document and the council will remain trustee of the land, she said.

Council staff will in January prepare the draft revised town belt management plan ready for the public to have a say through a formal consultation process in June.

The town belt encircles much of the city and includes Mt Victoria, Mt Albert, Newtown Park, the Hockey Stadium, Berhampore Golf Course, Wakefield, Macalister, Central and Kelburn parks and Te Ahumairangi (Tinakori Hill).

The nine guiding principles are:

  • The town belt will be protected and enhanced by the Council for future generations.
  • The town belt will continue to be governed in trust by the Council, under the 1873 Deed and subsequent legislation on behalf of the citizens of Wellington.
  • The council will work in partnership with mana whenua to manage the Town Belt.
  • The town belt’s landscape character will be protected.
  • The town belt will support healthy populations of indigenous biodiversity.
  • The town belt is for all to enjoy.
  • The town belt will be used for a wide range of recreational activities.
  • The council will encourage and support community participation in the management of the town belt.
  • Management of the town belt will acknowledge historical and cultural links to the land.

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