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Media Statement Sent on Behalf of Te Rūnanga O Makaawhio

Media Statement Sent on Behalf of Te Rūnanga O Makaawhio

Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio, representing the tangata whenua of the southern West Coast, confirms its firm opposition to the proposed Haast-Hollyford road. The proposed route — from the Arawhata River in the north to near Wawahiwaka (Lake Alabaster) in the south cuts right through the heart of our ancestral homelands.

As kaitiaki (guardians) of this land we owe it to this and future generations to ensure that the southernmost part of our rohe is not spoiled in the name of commercial gain. We recognise and understand the importance of tourism to the West Coast economy, as this is our home and livelihood too. However, some places are just too special. We don’t need roads everywhere. Roads do not only bring tourists; they bring rubbish, pollution and open up new corridors for the spread of pests.

Roads also bring extra demands for infrastructure, and already this summer the West Coast is bursting at the seams with tourism, but with not enough toilets and rubbish facilities to service them. The remoteness and the feeling of being alone in countryside that has scarcely known human contact already draws visitors to this area with the popular Ngai Tahu-owned Hollyford Track guided walks. It does NOT need a highway slashed through the middle of it. This is the last bastion of South Westland and as tangata whenua we will fight to keep it that way.


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