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Iwi Suggests To Pull Plug on Dam

1st August 2013

Iwi Suggests To Pull Plug on Dam

At a Hui an Iwi held at Matahiwi marae last night, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated was asked by several Heretaunga hapū to oppose the Ruataniwha Dam project on their behalf. The main reasons given were inadequate consultation, selective information release, and the failure by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to recognize and acknowledge the Tino Rangatiratanga that hapū had exercised over rivers and water bodies from time immemorial. Several hapū commentators slated the HB Regional Councils track record of not protecting waterways and rivers with Mangaroa Marae citing the continued absence of water in the Karewarewa in Bridge Pa over the last 20 years forcing the residents to use buckets and bottles in emergencies. Also cited was the absence of water in the Waingongoro in Waimarama by those hapū who also have shared interests in the Tukituki catchment, while Kohupatiki marae cited the water quality in the Clive and Pakowhai rivers that they have been left to clean up. But the hapū that has the greatest influence on the Tukituki, Ngāti Hawea, which is responsible for much of the Tukituki from Kahuranaki to the river mouth and it's receiving environs in the Marine Environment was most vociferous in their condemnation of the Ruataniwha scheme and urged hapū along the extent of the Tukituki to rally against the dam to ensure the mauri of the river was enhanced and not further degraded as was the Ngaruroro. A spokesman for Te Upokoiri hapū that once owned the land above and where the dam is proposed for, said there had been no consultation and by this inaction the HB Regional Council could not be trusted to progress the project.

Ngāti Kahungunu asked the HB Regional Council for a 6-month extension to this process to allow for proper consultation with hapū, iwi and the wider community to occur. This request was denied. Now the timeframe is very compressed and Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated have until tomorrow to make submissions and proposals concerning the Ruataniwha dam project.


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