For the first time, Southland iwi spoke with authorities about the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter cleanup.

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Southland iwi have partnered with authorities for the first time in an attempt to insure that the polluted Tiwai Point aluminium smelter is cleaned up.

Murihiku Regeneration, a consortium of four rnaka, has met with the Environment Ministry, district council, and Department of Conservation.

This comes seven months after the ministry started discussions with the Rio Tinto-owned New Zealand Aluminium Smelters.

Last month, the government terminated talks with Rio Tinto, claiming that the company had not been forthcoming with environmental monitoring results.

According to reports, the inaugural meeting with Mori and officials yielded no new information.

Te Rnaka o Awarua, Te Rnaka o Waihpai, raka Aparima Rnaka, and Hokonui Rnanga are all part of the Murihiku collective.

In January, it released a 238-page provisional cultural significance study on Tiwai in advance of more comprehensive studies.


Read the full Cultural report – Tiwai Peninsula (PDF 90.1MB)

“The smelter is sited on one of Aotearoa’s most important archaeological sites in terms of understanding early Māori culture,” the report said.

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It was inhabited during the first century after Polynesian colonisation of New Zealand and served as the principal export centre for Bluff argillite adzes.

“One of the main stone working sites is located in the smelter landfill area.”


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