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Maori Party Candidate Concerned about Mapua Report

Maori Party Candidate Concerned about Mapua Report

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Rahui Reid Katene, Te Tai Tonga Candidate

Te Tai Tonga candidate for the Maori Party, Rahui Katene, has expressed her concern for the people of Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Maui, in the aftermath of the report into the contamination of the site at Mapua.

“The report describes the adverse impact of contaminants being discharged into the Waimea inlet and the potential damage that could occur for the estuary ecosystem, water quality and human health” explained Mrs Katene.

“Our tribal histories remind us that Mapua was an area rich with seafood, birdlife and flora and fauna” said Mrs Katene.

“Our people flourished in this fertile environment, cultivating kumara in gardens throughout the rohe, and enjoying the full benefits of the climate”.

“Reading over the report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is therefore so disheartening” said Mrs Katene. “It is a rapid fall from virtual paradise to become the ‘worst contaminated site in the country”

“The decision to remediate the soil rather than contain the contamination has had disastrous consequences in terms of the toxin discharges that were released into air and water, including the possible exposure to dioxins and mercury compounds”.

“Inadequate monitoring and poor management has increased the anxiety of this community and the workers on the site” said Mrs Katene.

“We in the Maori Party are also concerned to learn what consultation there has been with the Motueka iwi resource management committee, and the iwi of this region, Ngati Toa Rangatira, Ngati Koata, Ngati Rarua, Ngati Kuia, Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa” said Mrs Katene.

“The cumulative impacts of estuary and seabed pollution across the Tasman Bay has long been a concern for mana whenua” said Mrs Katene. “Iwi have been actively working with agencies and councils to address the impacts of wastewater, industry water, storm water, agricultural products and silting”.

“And yet this activity appears to have been ignored in the Mapua contamination report” said Mrs Katene.

“There are many lessons to be learnt from what has happened at Mapua. Tangata whenua take our role as guardians of the environment very seriously. It is to be hoped, that consultation with mana whenua will be considered more of a priority than it appears to have been to date”.

ENDS

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