Federated Mountain Clubs Welcomes Te Urewera Settlement
Invercargill, 11 September 2012
Trampers welcome the Ngai Tuhoe settlement which will redress the iwi’s concerns about Te Urewera, while also protecting national park values. Although the land remains the same, the management regime will change with both crown agencies and iwi managing the area, taking trampers, who have long used the park, into uncharted territory.
The Federated Mountain Clubs say they would be keen to support the iwi and crown agencies manage Te Urewera.
“The settlement introduces a whole new way of managing an area we love to go tramping in”, says Federated Mountain Clubs President, Robin McNeill. “We would welcome being able to work with Ngai Tuhoe, as we do with DOC, to provide a recreation perspective”, he said.
With Te Urewera to be managed under rules that have yet to be finalised, the Federation would be keen to think afresh as to how trampers could best enjoy the area and to consider innovative ways to manage it for tramping.
The Federation is not concerned that Te Urewera will no longer be owned by the crown, as long as its guardians take all New Zealander’s with them and keep its core national park values, something New Zealander’s are passionate about.
“The bottom line is that access to the area will remain unrestricted and free, which is vitally important to us”, Mr McNeill says. “The National Parks Act provided a good minimum set of values and Ngai Tuhoe could build even more protection on top of that”. That Te Urewera could become a UNESCO biosphere reserve was particularly attractive, in effect making it a national park in the truest sense of the word.
Mr McNeill believes Ngai Tuhoe will want to manage a taonga as special as Te Urewera as best as they possibly can. “Enduring settlements are about bringing people together and respecting each others values. This settlement should achieve that end”.
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Photo: Sue McKee, Hutt Valley Tramping Club – FMC is a sponsor of the Kea Conservation Trust