Far North iwi say they plan to limit access to Ninety Mile Beach for cars and tour buses after their Treaty agreement is passed into law.

Parliament this morning began the first reading of the Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill, which gives effect to the agreement between the Crown and four iwi - Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto and Te Rarawa.

Once passed, the legislation would establish a joint committee made up of iwi members and local body officials who would be tasked with co-managing Ninety Mile Beach.

Te Rarawa leader Haami Piripi said the committee would look at "cultural and physical changes" to the famous beach.

He told Radio New Zealand that one of the biggest problems was the number of vehicles, in particular heavy buses, driving on the beach.


The iwi was concerned about pollution and damage to the land and wildlife.

"I am sure we will be looking to reduce it because at the moment it's just free willy," Mr Piripi said. "People can just ride anywhere on the beach they like."

The iwi leader said the committee would have to first "measure the changes" because it did not want to "disrupt the local life and use of the beach too much".

"But there definitely will be changes around vehicular access," he said.

Mr Piripi said there had been little resistance so far to proposals to restrict vehicle access.

There had been more public concern about the changing of the official name of the beach to Te Oneroa a Tohe, which was a requirement of the agreement.

The legislation would also give the iwi co-governance and control over some Far North conservation and forestry land.

The five iwi received commercial redress of $120 million in 2010 after two decades of negotiations.


The passing of the bill was the final step in the settlement process.