Ngāti Kuri in discussions with Government about gifting Kermadec ocean sanctuary back to Aotearoa

Source: 1News

An iwi that maintains mana whenua over the failed Kermadec ocean sanctuary say they're in discussions with the Government about gifting it back to New Zealand.

Progress on an ocean sanctuary in the Kermadec Islands was stalled in 2016 when the trust that oversees Māori fishing interests, Te Ohu Kaimoana, challenged the proposal.

Ngāti Kuri chairman Harry Burkhardt told TVNZ1's Breakfast the deal would protect the rights of commercial fishing interests in the area and protect Treaty of Waitangi rights.

The prized area of sea lies near the Kermadec Islands, 800km northeast of the North Island in the Pacific Ocean.

Last week commercial fishers, including Te Ohu Kaimoana, argued strongly on Breakfast to be able to fish the area.