Name change on cards for Ninety Mile Beach under Treaty deal

Ninety Mile Beach could be renamed under a tentative Treaty of Waitangi deal.

Radio New Zealand reported that the Crown had signed an agreement in principle with Te Hiku Forum, representing five Far North iwi with a total of 40,000 members, to settle claims lodged over the past 23 years.

As well as Maori co-governance of Ninety Mile Beach, the Crown had agreed to pay $120 million and transfer the ownership of Aupouri forest and seven Crown-owned farms.

Co-governance of the beach could provide for a possible name change for the area, known as Te Oneroa a Tohe.

The origin of the beach's present name is unknown, but the beach is 55 miles (88km) long.

Last-minute meetings were held on Friday to ensure the deal would go ahead, the Weekend Herald reported.

The deal would set up a co-governance board, known as the Te Oneroa a Tohe Statutory Board, made up of Crown and iwi representatives.

Crown income from tourist buses on the beach would go to the board to fund its projects.

- NZPA

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