Ngāti Kahungunu Joins Ngāi Tahu Freshwater Court Action
Two powerful iwi, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu, both of the Tākitimu waka, have joined forces in legal proceedings against the Crown.
Ngāti Kahungunu, the country’s third largest iwi, is working with Ngāi Tahu to have the tribe’s rangatiratanga over freshwater recognised, including the Mohaka River in Hawke’s Bay.
Ngāti Kahungunu, like Ngāi Tahu, has seen the traditional waterways and water bodies in its rohe degraded over time through government inaction, overallocation, and lack of environmental protections, including the 2016 Havelock North waterborne disease outbreak.
“These issues can be addressed only through direct engagement between the Crown and the iwi whose freshwater are most affected by years of neglect,” said Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana.
Ngāi Tūāhuriri Upoko Dr Te Maire Tau said: “As Waitangi Day approaches, we call on the Government to honour its relationship with Treaty partners, which are the iwi of New Zealand, not working groups or national bodies.”