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

 


Cold Creek Rural Water Supply


South Taranaki District Council (Cold Creek Rural Water Supply) Bill

Hon Tariana Turia, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru

Wednesday 20 February 2013 - 5.30pm

I rise to respond to the specific clause 5 (2a) in Part Two of the Bill which deals with the process for obtaining authorisation to proceed with the transfer.

This is an important part in that it states that the Council will comply with due process if it has consulted on the proposed transfer with “every iwi authority in relation to each iwi whose rohe comes, wholly or in part, within the scheme distribution area.”

As the local member I am obliged to inform the House that the local iwi are absolutely opposed to this Bill. There are two very strong statements of objection that I wish the House to consider before I even proceed with the range of arguments iwi have eloquently and consistently put before the select committee, and therefore the wider parliament.

Ngapari Nui, the Tumu Whakaae of Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust forcefully put the case, saying “…water is a fundamental cornerstone for iwi and one that must be worked through together with iwi. There has been no meaningful engagement about this Bill with iwi and for that reason the Bill should be rejected.”

This lack of meaningful engagement is a key theme reiterated through other submissions, including from Nga Hapu o Ngaruahine, and the Taranaki Iwi Trust.

Of particular objection is the fact that Taranaki Iwi were not consulted, engaged or involved in the development of the Bill. The submissions describe the process as unacceptable, that mana whenua were not involved in the decision that led to the development of the bill or in the crafting of the bill itself.

The offence taken is blatantly apparent – as a supposed Treaty partner and we talk a great deal about Treaty partnerships in this House they should have been informed and given an opportunity to fully understand the decision before the introduction of the bill to the House.

Given the significance that we understand of iwi and their relationship with water.

And I want to just expand on this point – how the Treaty applies to this bill affecting a rural water supply scheme.

It is all about location. This scheme is located right within the Taranaki iwi area of interest.

This is a consortium of eight iwi in Taranaki who exercise mana whenua and mana moana within that rohe.

These iwi have been kaitiaki of the whenua and the moana for generations – and with that comes inherent responsibilities to preserve and protect their whenua, moana and taonga.

This is an inherited responsibility – a relationship that will endure for generations to follow.

Notwithstanding the cultural and spiritual association with water that the iwi throughout this tribal territory carry, we are also talking about iwi who are engaged, right now, in settlement negotiations, and therefore who rightfully expect to be involved in the decision-making process around the transfer of Crown assets out of Crown ownership.

And I want to put before the House the unparalleled experience that Taranaki iwi have had with the Crown.

The submission from Liana Poutu, General Manager for Taranaki Iwi Trust, says it all : “Taranaki Iwi suffered some of the most serious breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi at the hands of the Crown. It is unconscionable that while the Crown are engaging in a process to redress these (very) serious grievances, on the other hand they continue to perpetuate the unfair and unjust treatment of our people.”

Part Two – section 8 (1) (e)

There is another part of the Bill, in section 8, which requires the Company to ‘prepare a protocol that provides for appropriate consultation by the Company with every iwi authority in relation to each iwi whose rohe, wholly or in part, comes within the scheme distribution area.’

Mr Speaker, under usual circumstances, we would support any protocol that sets out to provide for consultation with iwi - but as I have already explained – these were not usual circumstances.

On the 13 March 2012 representatives of Taranaki iwi, Nga Ruahinerangi, Ngati Ruanui and Nga Rauru met with the Honourable Chester Borrows and the Company to reinforce their concerns.

The four South Taranaki iwi told the Company that they were opposed to the Bill – and that the transfer of land from the South Taranaki District Council – while the Trust is in Treaty settlement negotiations with the Crown – it is unacceptable.

Yet still the Bill progressed to first reading.

For my own part, I took up this issue with the District Council and the local member some six months prior in September 2011. I urged the Council to initiate adequate and comprehensive consultation and engagement with the affected whanau, hapu and iwi.

I explained further, that while the iwi would acknowledge particular impacts for Orimupiko Marae and Oeo Marae, the wider iwi interests would also impact on the proposed infrastructural developments.

I asked the question – would these impacts result in the diminution of tangata whenua rights?

In February 2012, after sustained advocacy from the Māori Party and from iwi - the Bill was deferred, and I was assured this was to allow the company the time to resolve issues with the iwi.

And yet still the Bill came back to the House in March last year.

I said at that point, “I am standing by the iwi and I am voting against this Bill which works against our principles of rangatiratanga.”

Mr Speaker, nothing has changed to give the Maori Party any confidence that the concerns iwi have raised regarding the lack of proper consultation, the privatisation of water infrastructure, or future impacts on land value and access to water have been taken into account.

There is a word that begins with R that could describe this situation – it is at the very least institutionalised discrimination that seemingly means Taranaki iwi have no say about what happens in their rohe.

Ngati Ruanui outlined in their submission that there has been over ten years of missed opportunity where meaningful discussion could have been had with the iwi of South Taranaki. And the Council failed in this duty to consult with iwi.

It is too easy to dismiss this bill as being about a single water scheme in a rural location affecting a few.

But I remind the House – that in 1865 some 1.2 million acres of Taranaki land was proclaimed ‘confiscated’ under the New Zealand Settlements Act.

The Crown redress to Ngati Ruanui account to a few cents on the dollar for each acre that has been taken.

It was a gesture of enormous good faith that this sum was accepted by that iwi to move forward for the betterment of the nation as a whole.

This Bill – in creating an opportunity to allow private ownership and remove the Treaty partnership between the Crown and iwi does not exist in a vacuum. For those who uphold the responsibilities of kaitiakitanga, the water at the centre of this bill requires careful protection and guardianship.

Lest we forget the Supreme Court case happening just across the road, the management of water resources is fundamental to iwi.

Parliament must not act today in a way which undermines the Treaty relationship and adversely impacts on the water legislative landscape before the collective tribal discussions can be held about Maunga Taranaki and the precious water resource which flows from it.

The Maori Party wishes to register its objections to this Bill and will continue to stand alongside of iwi in opposing this legislation.
ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

#SaveCampbellLive : Mediaworks Delivered 104,000 Petition Signatures At TV3's Newton HQ
#PonyTailGate #TailGate Full Coverage

Pukeahu Park : ANZAC 100th Anniversary Dawn Service In Pictures

Roughly 18,000 people gathered this morning at Pukeahu Memorial Park for the Anzac day centenary. Anticipating the large turnout, patrons arrived as early as 4.30. It was virtually impossible to get near the Memorial after 5am. By 6, the crowds on Taranaki Street had stretched as far back as the Z Petrol station.

The screens erected around the park displayed the live events to those who had turned up. The heat generated by the huge number of people caused many to take a turn. Medics and ambulances were on hand for the fainting crowd members. Only twenty minutes into the ceremony, one medic said they had already dealt with 15 to 20 spells. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news