Te Urewera management plan future of conservation – Kruger

By Talisa Kupenga

Te Urewera Board has released its draft principles of management for Te Urewera, formerly Te Urewera National Park, which was recognised as a legal entity three years ago. It's key approach is to focus more on the management of people at Te Urewera instead of management of the land.

Te Kawa o Te Urewera management plan acknowledges people need nature but nature doesn't need people.

Te Urewera Board Chairman Tamati Kruger says, "This work brings back Māori process and views of a collective vision about what is the benefit to all people, families and the wider community rather than the individual."

Minister of conservation Maggie Barry says credited Tūhoes leadership.

"I commend Tūhoe and Te Kawa in particular in leading an attitude and cultural shift which will engage us more in leading us to be more responsible to the land."

Te Kawa will apply to all land formerly of Te Urewera National Park and will also extend to Lake Waikaremoana. Public access will not be affected and concessions like permits will be renamed 'Friendship agreements' in recognition of Te Urewera as a being.

Kruger says “I believe this is a good example of where Pākeha and the law acknowledge the value and strength of Māori methods."

The capacity of which Te Urewera would benefit from this year's $76 million injection into DOC tourism infrastructure was yet to be discussed but signage to deter naked tourists taking snaps could be on the agenda.

Kruger and the Minister saw the humour in the issue before the Minister quipped “I’m sure we can see a modest tone set by our friends in Tūhoe".

The submission deadline for Te Kawa ends on July 20. A joint decision whether to recommend the plan to the Te Urewera Board will be made by the Minister and Tuhoe's governing board Te Uru Taumata.

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