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Resource management hearings held on marae

Thursday, 13 October 2011 10:00 a.m.

Managing the region's natural and physical resources was the topic of public hearings held at the Whakaue Marae at Maketu this week.

The Regional Policy Statement is the region's most important resource management document - setting out how all the region's councils must manage resources under the Resource Management Act. The hearings follow a call for public and further submissions earlier this year. 

Hearing Committee Chair Raewyn Bennett said the Proposed Regional Policy Statement also identifies resource management issues of significance to tangata whenua in the region.

"Holding this hearing on a marae acknowledges the importance of cultural relationships and values our iwi and hapū afford to marae, and the importance of this topic," she said.

"It is important for iwi and hapū submitters to be able to present their submissions on a marae.  Iwi and hapū submitters often feel less intimidated by formal processes in settings familiar to them and their culture."

"This is part of giving all submitters an opportunity to be heard and is consistent with our policy to hold hearings on marae whenever matters of significance to iwi and hapū are being considered by the Regional Council.

"We've held a number of consultation hui on marae across the region as we've been developing the Proposed RPS."

Hearings continued yesterday at Club Mount Maunganui, Tauranga - day 14 of 17 days of hearings being held in Tauranga, Rotorua and Maketū (Whakaue Marae). All hearings, which end next week, are open to the public.

Deliberations on the 187 submissions and 56 further submissions received are scheduled to begin in December and are likely to continue into 2012.

Ends

For further media information please contact Yvonne Rooney, Senior Communications Advisor, on 0800 884 881 ext 9379 or (021) 289 8380.