“Crown Needs To Start Again On Site Selection” Dame Asks For Timeline On Iwi Consultation
In a comprehensive letter sent to the Prime Minister on Thursday, Dame Naida has requested all documents underpinning the timeline on iwi consultation to be made available.
To date the Ministry of Culture and Heritage has refused Official Information Act requests.
"This is an argument about the process used by the Crown,” says Dame Naida Glavish.
“My primary concern is the lack of integrity in this process as there wasn't a full-scale consultation process - they chose who they wanted to speak too. Start again, Jacinda - hear us."
“The Ministry only sought to advise mana whenua of it’s decision to build the Memorial at Mataharehare, rather than actually consult with mana whenua in advance of making such a decision. This predetermination is unacceptable.”
The letter canvassed the Ministry’s site selection design selection, engagement with iwi, regulatory approvals, impacts on the notable Pōhutukawa, status of the Mataharehare Pā site and the decisions by the Ministry and the Local Board tainted with unfairness.
Yesterday hundreds gathered at the Mataharehare including 40 whānau of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei that chose to publicly support the stance for a relocation of the Memorial.
Many others travelled from as far away as Te Urewera in the North Island and Great Barrier Island to join karakia with the local community led by kaumātua and Dame Naida.
Eighty year old, Heather Levack, daughter of Sir Dove Myer Robinson stood up to speak of her opposition to the site being selected. Mana whenua kaumatua leader, Tautoko Witika representing Ngāti Whātua also shared its support.
Today an online petition, ‘Protect Mataharehare’ is due to be launched on https://www.toko.org.nz by Erebus family member, Margaret Brough. It calls on the Prime Minister to intervene and the location rethought due to incomplete information.
Brough has spoken up publicly about the reaction she witnessed from many of the families when they were told about where the National Memorial would be located.
"My observation at the 2018 Erebus Memorial is the majority of families were against it."
For more information go to: www.sosnz.govt.nz