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Published: 2004-12-16 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has granted the Hauraki Maori Trust Board $3000 to investigate the feasibility of establishing a Maori environmental resource centre.

The Trust Board is investigating setting up a centre to improve the quality and accessibility of resource management services to Hauraki Maori, including capacity building, easy access to information and advice, communication of information and training. The report of recommendations would include information collection, needs assessment, consultation and networking as well as a recommendation of preferred action.

The Board said the centre would also benefit the wider community with access to good information and resources around kaitiakitanga, increased opportunities for co-operation between groups, an improved local environment and increased community appreciation of the kaitiaki role.

Hauraki Councillor Basil Morrison said the Council had supported the Trust Board to develop an environmental plan, of which the resource centre was an important part. The environment centre concept had significant potential to engage people in environmental issues, he said.

Hauraki Maori Trust Board Planning Manager Liane Ngamane said the study arose out of concern at the lack of environmental support services available to whanau, hapu, iwi at a ‘flax roots’ level. The grant would enable the Board to explore and better understand what those needs were, where service gaps existed and how to best respond to them.

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