Opposition to Crystal Waters developments
Professor Margaret Mutu, Chair of Ngāti Kahu Iwi Authority and
Hone Harawira, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau
"Ngāti Kahu have spoken; and we are totally opposed to the developments taking place at Waipuna and Waipapa (Cable Bay)", stated Chairperson of Te Rūnanga -ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu, Professor Margaret Mutu.
"As the Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau I have a responsibility to listen to my constituents. I hear their call, and I will do my best to support their wishes", states Hone Harawira from the Māori Party.
"On the Saturday past, the marae of Ngāti Kahu met to discuss the issue and passed a strongly worded motion that as mana whenua - and the paramount and ultimate authority for the area - we decline the request by Crystal Waters Developments to build an overhead foot bridge across State Highway 10 from their elite condominium development to the beach" stated Professor Mutu. "As such, any consent given by any other authority is invalid. No development will go ahead without our explicit consent."
Professor Mutu said that Ngāti Kahu are opposed to the proposal presented by Crystal Waters Development on several grounds. They include;
1. That Ngāti Kahu never consented to having their mana whenua and authority over the foreshore and seabed extinguished; and in continuing to exercise that authority, we simply will not allow activities which have severe negative impacts on the foreshore, such as this proposed development, to proceed.
2. That neither the Far North District Council, nor Crystal Waters Development asked those hapū of Ngāti Kahu who are tangata whenua of Cable Bay and directly affected by this development, for their consent, let alone their opinion.
3. That the foot bridge being constructed from the condominiums on the hill to the beach is servicing the needs of an elite section of society, rather than catering for the needs of the wider community.
4. That the sewerage system that the condominiums will be using has been created on Ngāti Kahu land which was taken under the Public Works Act - and it is already polluting the environment. That problem is compounded by the fact that a quarry that contains arsenic and other heavy metals is also polluting waterways in the area. This is occurring despite years of complaining to the Far North District Council.
Ngāti Kahu has been stating for many years now that this abuse of our environment must stop. Ngāti Kahu hold mana whenua over the area concerned and we have ruled that any consent issued for the development of Waipuna and Waipapa (Cable Bay) is invalid without our consent", stated Professor Mutu.
Hone Harawira stated "In my role as MP for Te Tai Tokerau, I will be lobbying other Members of Parliament from Tai Tokerau to do what they can to stop what is happening at Waipapa (Cable Bay). They are;
1. Dover Samuels, Labour list member
2. Shane Jones, Labour list member
3. John Carter, National Member of Parliament for Northland
4. Sue Bradford, Green Party List Member
I will also be approaching the Minister of Conservation, Hon Chris Carter; the Minister of Local Government; Hon Mark Burton; and the Minister of Maori Affairs; Hon Parekura Horomia to request their immediate investigation of this matter.
I also hope to meet with the Far North District Council to ask why Ngāti Kahu were not formally approached regarding the construction of the footbridge for an development that the local public will not be able to enjoy. I find it appalling that Māori are still being ignored and Māori rights are still being bypassed, here in the 21st century.
"I would like to ask whether Maori people were at the Council table when this proposal was being designed. If they were omitted from the process, then clearly this is a culture of exclusion that we would not expect to see in a democracy; and this needs to be remedied immediately".
I applaud Ngāti Kahu's efforts in exercising their authority and standing up for their rights. I also congratulate those non-Māori who have stood alongside them in this matter. Council's decision to put Māori concerns regarding foreshore and seabed matters to one side is a huge mistake. Clearly Council have misread the situation, and I urge them to withdraw consent for the footbridge and to resolve differences with the communities of Waipapa (Cable Bay) and Ngāti Kahu.
The Māori Party remains committed to protection of the foreshore and seabed for all citizens of Aotearoa. What is happening at Cable Bay is what will happen all around the country unless the Foreshore and Seabed Act is repealed, and better guidelines put in place," stated Harawira.