Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme will help wellbeing

30 January 2013
Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme will help wellbeing and mauri

A respected Māori leader believes the Ruataniwha Water Storage (RWS) Scheme could have huge potential for Māori in Hawke’s Bay.

Professor Roger Maaka is Dean of the Māori Faculty at EIT. He lives in Takapau and speaks for the four marae in the catchment area of the proposed dam. He has been a member of the RWS Leadership Group for the past two and a half years and continues to work closely with those driving the scheme.

He’s taking a long term view of the scheme; looking to the future at social and economic opportunities for Māori and others in the community; with an equal view to improving the wellbeing or mauri of the Tukituki River.

“Māori have a lot to gain from this scheme, provided the environment and mauri of the river are not damaged, and at this stage the science I’ve seen indicates that both will be enhanced,” says Prof. Maaka.

However he believes the Hawke’s Bay community are yet to fully understand just how much potential there is if the Scheme goes ahead.
He says it took him some time to get his head around the enormity of the scheme and what it can offer Hawke’s Bay and believes the general public are yet to get to that point.

“This scheme is huge. It will touch everybody in Hawke’s Bay. It is more than storing a bit of water and once we get our heads around that we can start to truly understand what this project can offer our communities,” says Prof. Maaka.

He speaks of three underlying principles for successful Māori engagement with the scheme: Recognition, Protection and Participation.

Recognition
Prof. Maaka says it is vital that local Māori and hapū play a key role in the scheme, as tangata whenua in the area of the water storage location.

“This is the largest investment ever in this region and therefore local Māori communities must benefit from the scheme at all levels. We are more than just cultural advisors, we are tangata whenua and therefore need to be integral to the social and economic planning and operations of this project.”

Protection
Prof. Maaka says that for Māori protecting the mauri of the Mākaroro River as well as the Waipawa and along the length of the Tukituki rivers are paramount.

“So far the science has shown while there will be effects from the scheme they can be countered and I am anticipating a considerable improvement overall in the health of the rivers.”

Roger Maaka says the other protection Māori want is an assurance that the benefits from the scheme will be felt locally.

“What’s good for Māori locally is good for the whole community. We don’t want any monopolies to come in and establish just one industry or one type of agriculture. We want a mix of uses. We don’t want one large organisation to come in and take everything over, taking the benefits away from our local communities.”

He says Māori want that protection embedded in the legislation that underpins the whole project.

Participation
Roger Maaka says often Māori are engaged in the latter stages of a project, but with the RWS Scheme they have been involved from early on and want to continue to contribute in all stages of planning and implementation.

“In this project we have been involved from the start and we want this to continue. Ultimately we want to be part of developing the management and governance systems put in place around the scheme.”

Roger Maaka hopes there will be Iwi groups investing in the scheme and some have already shown interest.

“Those Iwi groups with the capital will invest if they feel it is a wise investment and I hope that does happen, but we have no control over that.”

He says that a big part of participation is employment opportunities and he is lobbying for a sizable proportion of the workforce to be Māori – both during construction as well as the post-construction phases.

“We have a very sad level of unemployment, particularly in our younger generation. There is a seasonal nature to the work for Māori in Central Hawke’s Bay and also many of our young people leave the region to seek work elsewhere around the country or overseas.”

He is working with local authorities and EIT to look at the possibility of developing programmes to prepare the local population for the jobs that will be available when construction starts.

“In addition to those construction jobs we want to see our people in trades and professional areas coming out of this scheme. There will be miles of piping to be laid to distribute the water to irrigation sites; we need to train people to provide and sustain these types of new services to the farming community.”

Prof. Maaka says he would like to think Māori will also be among the professionals, such as engineers and accountants, employed on this scheme.

“This could occur through assistance or scholarships to young talented Māori who may still be at high school to encourage them to get qualified and come back and find work on the scheme or the associated industries.”

“I would also like there to be some Māori farmers who take up the opportunities from the additional land once irrigation is made available. I am not sure how that can happen, but I will be asking the Government and other agencies to assist us to work toward this.”

Roger Maaka says while there is still a lot of work to do he sees that the scheme in its entirety has huge potential for Māori in Hawke’s Bay, and the region as a whole.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

More Evidence - Scoop Press Conference Recordings:
PM's Post-Cab Presser 8/8/11
"at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ..."

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Schools, PPTA Sign Up: Primary Teachers And Principals Vote Down Govt Plan

Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Usual Round Of Mud Slinging And Name-Calling

This week gave an interesting example of how hard it is to untangle the reality from the slanging matches. The issue that emerged early this week could hardly be more important. Does the government intend to cut spending in health, education and on the environment if re-elected, or not? More>>

Earlier:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news