Who has been part of the project development? – Nā wai te hinonga i whakarite?
The project is a collaborative effort. Rotorua Lakes Council is working closely with the landowners, CNI Iwi Holdings, and mana whenua Ngāti Whakaue and Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao. Council will also be working closely with the Whakarewarewa Forest Managers, Timberlands Limited.
The Tokorangi and Whakarewarewa forest lands are owned by Central North Island Iwi Holdings Ltd, following its 2008 settlement with Government.
Council is responsible for the management of the Tokorangi Forest block under the terms of the Crown Forestry Licence (CFL). Council also manages recreation in the Whakarewarewa Forest under a management agreement with CNI and Timberlands who hold the CFL for the Whakarewarewa Forest block. Both CFLs expire in 2043 when full management and ownership will be returned to mana whenua iwi.
Council is in the process of formalising a co-governance group for the Whakarewarewa Forest to support ongoing, sustainable recreational use, management and development in the forest. This group includes Rotorua Lakes Council, Te Komiti Nui O Ngāti Whakaue, Tuhourangi Tribal Authority, CNI and Timberlands.