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

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news