“Conservation Minister Poto Williams signed off the Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua plan to remove 44 DOC huts from Te Urewera knowing it would be years before they were replaced,” says ACT’s Conservation spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“The public sentiment about the huts being removed has been clear, the community feels blindsided, and they want their access back.

“Instead, Poto Williams told the iwi to go ahead and burn down the public huts. Today she admitted in Parliament it could be three years before they are replaced.

“DOC gives $2 million a year to maintain tracks and huts in the area. How did these huts get into a state of disrepair in the first place and why is DOC not insisting that replacement huts are installed as soon as possible?

“Poto Williams has shown time and again that she’s out of her depth as a Minister. After messing up as Police Minister, now she seems intent on messing up as Conservation Minister too.

“New Zealanders are already distrusting of the Co-Governance model. It’s no wonder when this is how a co-government arrangement is being carried out.”

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Nicole McKee