Maori Party calls for more accountability
4 October 2013
Maori Party calls for more accountability over environmental disaster
The Maori Party calls for more accountability over the recent environmental disaster on Maunga Ruapehu this week. The Maori Party says the spillage from a diesel storage tank at Turoa that leaked more than 1500 litres into the Makotuku stream has been disastrous and is calling on the Department of Conservation and Ruapehu Alpine Ltd that operates the ski field to tighten their environmental and safety requirements and procedures.
“The local people, Ngati Rangi and Whanganui iwi refer to Ruapehu as ‘Koro’ which reflects their respectful relationship with the mountain. They have long had a spiritual connection to Ruapehu, its crater lake Te Wai a Moe and its many rivers, streams and tributaries. Ruapehu is located in the Tongariro National Park which has World Heritage status that not only recognises the volcanic features, native plants and bush but equally as important the spiritual and cultural relationship with iwi,” says Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia.
“Ruapehu Alpine Ltd has profited from their ski business at the Turoa ski field for decades – in return we would expect that there would be stringent environmental and safety processes in place to avoid such disasters.”
“We know this incident has specifically affected clean water access for the residents of Raetihi and would like to acknowledge Ngati Rangi and the wider communities of Ohakune, Karioi and Waiouru who are stepping up to help with the clean-up and opening up their homes, marae and businesses to provide alternative water access.”
“This has come at a huge cost to the community. We ask
who will pay for the damage this has caused to the Makotuku
stream water supply, the flora, fauna and wildlife and the
costs incurred for the Raetihi community to find safe
alternative water supplies?”