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Joint Statement From Muaūpoko Tribal Authority And Lake Horowhenua Trust

The Muaūpoko Tribal Authority, in partnership with Lake Horowhenua Trust, are delighted with the judgement released this afternoon by the Court of Appeal.

This judgement has ruled in our favour, and the exemption for Horowhenua from the National Policy Statement for Freshwater has been quashed.

Our primary reason for this appeal was to uphold and protect our rights, and our taonga, under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and as private property owners.

This judgement will prevent the waterways in the region, including the catchment for Punahau/Lake Horowhenua from continuing to be exempt from healthy freshwater standards and targets says Dean Wilson, Deputy Chair Lake Horowhenua Trust

“This is a significant outcome, as owners we have always fought hard to protect the mauri and life force of our taonga, alongside our private property ownership rights over the lake. Our taonga and our people have pretty much solely absorbed the negative effects of the region's progress and prosperity without receiving any of the benefits - for decades and decades, and enough is enough. We only hope it’s not too late.”

Tim Tukapua, Chair of Muaūpoko Tribal Authority (MTA) states, “The National Policy Statement exemption affects all waterways in the region and the catchment - with obviously huge impact on our taonga - Punahau. It simply wasn't good enough. Therefore, MTA led this action in partnership with Lake Owners and on behalf of our community.”

“We are working together to take the time to fully understand the implications of this ruling and a full statement will be released in due course." He says

Di Rump, CEO of Muaūpoko Tribal Authority says, "Today's judgement demonstrates the importance of Te Tiriti principles in action. By not upholding Te Tiriti, this National Policy Statement has had an impact on our whole community."

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