September 20, 2012
Tauranga iwi vow to keep fighting
Tauranga hapu Ngati Ruahine is considering appealing a decision that allows Ports of Tauranga to widen channels to allow bigger ships.
The High Court upheld a decision allowing dredging of 15 million cubic metres of material, saying the Environment Court gave careful and sympathetic attention to the cultural evidence before deciding for the port company.
Maori lawyer Willie Te Aho says the hapu has a Waitangi Tribunal report spelling out the destructive effect the port has already had on the culture and the kaimoana.
“The application by the port is to remove part of Paritaha which is the kohanga reo for the pipi beds throughout the whole of the moana and to remove part of Mauao Mountain which is in the title in the three iwi of Tauranga Moana being Ngati Pukenga, Ngaiterangi and Ngati Ranginui,” he says.
Mr Te Aho says the challenge has so far cost the iwi about $150,000, while the port company has spent more than $2 million fighting them.