• Tau Henare
Maori Affairs

The Minister of Maori Affairs, Tau Henare and Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith today agreed on the terms of reference and staff for a joint Ministerial inquiry into the management and 1971 Lease Agreement of Lake Waikaremoana.

The inquiry will:

1. Identify the detail of the complaints relating to compliance with the 1971 lease;

2. Identify any concerns of local communities associated with the lake regarding the management by the Department of Conservation of the area and catchment area;

3. Inquire into whether the Department of Conservation has honoured the Crown's obligations under the terms of the 1971 lease, in respect of the requirements to manage the area in accordance with the National Parks Act; and

4. Identify what processes exist to resolve the issues which might arise from terms 1-3 above.

The inquiry will be conducted without considering Treaty of Waitangi claims for the area, which are matters for the Waitangi Tribunal. The inquiry will give the protesters, Trust Boards and other interested parties the opportunity to have their case heard.

The Ministers have appointed the Maori Trustee, John Paki and James Guthrie to conduct the inquiry. Mr Paki has extensive experience in dealing with Maori land issues, Maori Trust Boards, landowners and beneficiaries. Mr Guthrie is a past member of the New Zealand Conservation Authority and has experience in government processes and Iwi issues relating to conservation governance and administration.

The Ministers expect to receive a report on the inquiry by the end of May 1998.