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Whangamata reflects indigenous holistic thinking

"Whangamata Decision reflects the influence of indigenous holistic thinking"

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party; 8 March 2006

The Maori Party today applauded the long-term commitment of Hauraki Maori to protect the coastline in the public interest of the community of Whangamata.

"The Hauraki Maori Trust Board, Te Kupenga o Ngati Hako, and other iwi groups have fought a valiant battle to preserve the mauri of the natural environment and cultural heritage of their rohe" stated Tariana Turia, co-leader, Maori Party.

Mrs Turia outlined that evidence given by iwi over the last five years has paved the way for the 'thoroughly sensible' decision of Conservation Minister, Chris Carter.

"Tangata whenua objected to the proposal to build a 204-berth marina in Whangamata on many grounds" said Mrs Turia. "They argued that the harbour would be polluted, access to shellfish restricted and other kaimoana destroyed".

"They drew public attention to the loss of coastal habitat, the increased sediment and contaminant levels in the harbour, and the impact this was having on the well-being of the people".

"Coastal areas have always been rich sources of kaimoana for tangata whenua" stated Mrs Turia. Coastline iwi have consistently followed management practices which both established and enforced harvesting limits, and also maintained the health of the eco-system on which the resources depended".

"Coastal habitation sites like Whangamata are absolutely vital to the identity of iwi - as well of course being something of a cultural icon to surfers, to ecologists, to holiday makers, to New Zealand families".

"We need to look at the whole picture - the benefits for generations to come of protecting a threatened species (the banded rail); maintaining the coastal habitat, respecting the ancestral ties to Moanaanuanu Estuary and Whangamata Harbour, and preserving our unspoiled beaches".

"It is a very positive decision made by the Minister, which reflects the influence of indigenous holistic thinking" stated Mrs Turia. "However, we also fully appreciate that the Marina Society will be reeling from the economic impact of the lost opportunities they would consider come with this decision".


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