Introduction

Have your say on a proposal to vest Taia Bush Historic Reserve on Rēkohu/Wharekauri Chatham Island in Hokotehi Moriori Trust. Submissions closed 30 October 2020.

The reserve was established following an application by Te Kotahi Moriori to the Nature Heritage Fund. It has been classified as an ‘historic’ reserve in recognition of Moriori waahi tapu and rakau momori. The reserve also has areas of pasture and coastal wetlands.

List of submissions received as part of the consultation.

Under the provisions of Section 26(3) Reserves Act 1977, notice is given of a proposal to vest the Taia Historic reserve, Chatham Island, in Hokotehi Moriori Trust.

The land’s legal description is Sections 4 and 23 and Part Section 13 Owenga Settlement and it is around 1198 ha.

How to submit

Written submissions and objections to the proposal (including the grounds for objection) and an indication of whether you wish to be heard in support of your submission or objection may be made to:

Statutory Land Management Manager
Dunedin Service Centre
PO Box 5244
Dunedin 9058

Email:djwakelin@doc.govt.nz

Submissions must be received by 5 pm Friday 30 October 2020.

Background

In 2001 the Minister of Conservation purchased Taia Farm located on Rēkohu/Wharekauri Chatham Island through the Nature Heritage Fund.

Taia is 1198 hectares of farm and wetland coastal ecosystems.

This purchase followed an application by Te Kotahi Moriori to the contestable Crown funding body for the purchase.

In approving the purchase, the Minister of Conservation advised that the land would be protected as an historic reserve and proposed that the reserve be vested in Te Kotahi Moriori Trust in accordance with Section 26 of the Reserves Act 1977.

Since the purchase date the land has been classified as a historic reserve. Te Kotahi Moriori Trust has consolidated its interests in a new body named Hokotehi Moriori Trust. Hokotehi Moriori Trust was incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act on June 2003 and it is this entity that the reserve is proposed to be vested.

Hokotehi Moriori Trust

The Hokotehi Moriori Trust Deed outlines a brief history and fundamental core values underpinning Moriori culture and philosophy. The objectives of the Trust are to improve the health and welfare of Moriori and promote education and training.  

Hokotehi has a commitment to restoring the cultural and ecological integrity of much of the land under its ownership and management. It proposes to plant one million native trees on its lands in Kaingaroa and has invested over $750,000.00 in protecting rakau momori (tree engravings) at Rotorua, Hapupu, Kairae, Kainga rahu and Taia.

The powers of the Trustees are to promote and protect ancestral lands, and restore indigenous tāngata whenua and customary rights. These objectives provide the authority for the Trust to take on the management responsibilities envisaged by the proposed vesting.

More information about the Trust.

Vesting and vesting process

Vesting is essentially a contract between the Minister and the entity (Administrating Body) in which the reserve is vested. The Reserve is transferred in trust to the Administrating Body subject to the provisions of the Reserves Act.

These provisions include:

  • administrating, managing and controlling the reserve
  • ensuring appropriate public use, enjoyment, development, maintenance, protection and preservation of the reserve
  • preparing a Reserve Management Plan to be submitted to the Minister of Conservation for approval
  • complying with the conditions of the vesting
  • using the means at its disposal to manage the reserve.

Although the Minister advised the reserve should be vested in the said body when approving the purchase of Taia Farm in 2001, the Reserves Act provides for the Ministers intention to vest to be notified for public comment, submission and objection.

In November 2003 the Minster’s intention to vest was notified for public comment in the Chatham Islander. No submissions were received. Given the passage of time the intention to vest is being re-notified for public comment, submission and objection.

Proposed conditions of the vesting

While an administrating body is required within five years to prepare a management plan which includes a public comment phase and approval by the Minister, some fundamental high-level matters are established at the outset as conditions of vesting.

Conditions of the vesting are proposed as follows:

  • the cultural and ecological integrity of Taia is preserved and restored
  • no grazing or other farming
  • wild animals such as feral cats, feral cattle and pigs and invasive plant species shall be controlled and reduced. Populations of other species including black swans and gamebirds may be maintained if there is evidence of long standing harvest, and subject to appropriate conditions around access and their populations being controlled to levels that do not damage conservation or cultural values
  • access for eco-tourism may be permitted by the Administrating Body subject to appropriate conditions
  • vehicle use is restricted to management or other approved purposes
  • open fires are prohibited because of the fire risk
  • public access for purposes consistent with the reserve status will not be unduly restricted
  • planting projects to be jointly agreed by Hokotehi Moriori Trust and DOC by the Administrating Body and DOC.

Contact 

For further information contact the Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Island office +64 3 305 0098 or email chathamislands@doc.govt.nz.

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