Consent applicants to consult iwi groups

Environment Southland has been notified of four iwi groups that have applied to the High Court for Customary Marine Title for areas of Southland’s coast.

The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 provides a legal framework for iwi, hapu and whanau interested to be recognised in the marine and coastal areas around New Zealand. It gives groups Customary Marine Title, which recognises that the group has an interest in a specific area of the coast and gives the group certain rights.

Applicants in Southland are Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Te Whanau o Topi, Landowners of the Ruapuke Island Group, and the New Zealand Maori Council.

The High Court has received over 150 applications for the recognition of customary interests across New Zealand’s coastal and marine area. These applications must now work through the court process, which could take some time.

Director of policy, planning and regulatory services Vin Smith said that while the final decisions on the applications are still to be made, regional councils must give consideration to the views of the applicant groups when deciding on resource consent applications for activities that will be undertaken in a coastal area.

“If you are planning to undertake an activity in a coastal area that needs a resource consent, you may need to consult with one or all of these groups prior to lodging your resource consent application,” he said.

More information and a map will be available on the council’s website soon (www.es.govt.nz). Please contact the consents team to discuss your particular application.