Council apologises for failing to consult iwi for Top Gear filming

top-gear2013The Far North District Council has apologised to some local Maori for failing to consult them before granting access to the BBC to film Top Gear on Ninety Mile Beach this month.

The British motoring series will spend next week filming on the beach, which will be closured to the public for short periods between March 11 and 17.

However, the FNDC has today apologised to local iwi for not consulting them before granting special permission to the BBC to close the beach, which is classed as a public road.

Usually the permission process would involve advertising and two weeks for submissions but due to the short notice given by the BBC the council skipped the process.

Five iwi have custodianship of the beach but only one – Ngati Kuri – were approached by the council.

“The council has apologised (to the other iwi) that we didn’t take the consultation far enough and we will be taking steps to ensure appropriate consultation is done in the future,” a spokesman for FNDC said.

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