Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


"Clean Them Up Then Hand Them Back"


"Clean Them Up Then Hand Them Back"

Te Ururoa Flavell, Maori Party M.P. for Waiariki 26 March 20008

The Maori Party is pleased that Government is finally taking responsibility for decades of cumulative pollution, in the Rotorua lakes restoration programme announced today.

But Maori Party MP for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell, spoke of the pain of the Arawa people, recognised in the Government's package to clean up the lakes.

"The Government has finally owned up to the tragic cost to our wellbeing as Te Arawa, our economic and tourist dollar, and our cultural and environmental health as a nation," he said. "The pain and offence caused by the lakes being so contaminated that they were described in 1969 as an "unflushed toilet" is part of a history we will not forget easily".

"Te Arawa have always understood the lakes as an integral part of ourselves," said Flavell. "The number of mahinga kai (food gathering and cultivation sites) among the lakes demonstrates their significance at the heart of our tribal rohe. The lakes are central in our concepts of waiora, mauri and whakapapa," he said.

"All of Te Arawa, and the whole country, have seen the results of the Crown usurping our rangatiratanga over our lakes and our resources" said Flavell. "Once the tangata whenua lost control, the health of the lakes went downhill. It is only right that the Crown should clean up the mess before it hands back full ownership of the lakes, including the waters, to the people who have their long-term well-being at heart - the tangata whenua," he said. "After that, we can ensure the polluter pays," he said.

"Our concern remains for the lakes on the margins - the lakes which have not been prioritised" said Mr Flavell. "While we fully support the efforts to clean up Rotorua, Rotoiti, Rotoehu and Okareka lakes, we can not turn our sight away from the other lakes which also require protection".

"Te Arawa is also worried about the long-term impacts of recent land use changes, which will affect the lakes for generations to come. The rush for lakefront houses and baches, and the boom in dairy prices, have increased pollution of our waterways.

"In the long term, Te Arawa as tangata whenua cannot escape the consequences of the environmental planning and management decisions we are making today. That is why our voices must be properly heard, and our people must be properly represented, on the local bodies making these decisions," Mr Flavell said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Not Easy: Gordon Campbell On The Greens’ Ongoing Problems

Hard to treat the Greens’ belated decision to stand a candidate in Ohariu as being anything other than a desperation move, by a party whose own leadership is evidently concerned about its chances of survival...

A few months ago, the Greens felt able to forego that role in Ohariu in order to help a beleaguered Labour Party get its candidate Greg O’Connor across the line, and knock Peter Dunne out of the parliamentary frame. More>>


Closing The Gap: Ardern Rules Out Income Tax Rise

After earlier commitments by Jacinda Ardern to do something about inequality and poverty, this new position on income tax seems an about face. To do something significant about inequality requires increases in income for those at the bottom and decreases for those at the top... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need... More>>

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election