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Former Shelly Bay Protestor Calls Time On Occupation

A former member of the Mau Whenua movement says it’s time for the protestors to quit their occupation of Shelly Bay/Marukaikuru and allow developers to get on with building houses.

Paora Mepham was among the first people to join the Mau Whenua occupation of Shelly Bay a year ago to protest the sale of the land to The Wellington Company by the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust – the post-Treaty settlement entity for Taranaki Whānui.

“We put our pou in the ground and began an occupation to prevent any further alienation of our whenua until we knew what was going on,” Mr Mepham says.

“Many Pākehā came to see us, representing a range of vested interests, but we held firm to our Kaupapa.

“Over time, we learned more about the chain of events leading up to PNBST’s decision to sell the whenua to The Wellington Company and I got involved in negotiation the resulting commercial partnership known as Shelly Bay Taikuru.

“The partnership honours the three pou at Marukaikuru and is true to the strategic direction of Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika.

Mr Mepham says he knows the mamae (hurt) caused by the decisions of former Trustees and how it came to be that PNBST sold Marukaikuru.

“I also know that subsequent Trustees have acted with integrity and in the best interests of all Uri, which is why I have decided the Mau Whenua kaupapa at Shelly Bay is done.

“We have achieved a satisfactory compromise and it is time to move forward.

“Tikanga dictates that the occupation should be ended so we can allow our people to prosper on the land.”
 

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