October 04, 2012
No room for Maori values in tip plan
An objector to a proposed rubbish transfer station in Rotorua says there is a cultural chasm between council officials and mana whenua.
John Tapiata says the site on Te Ngae Road is less than 200 metres from Ngati Hinemihi marae and urupa, and hard up against its ngawha or hot bath.
The council only sought comment from immediate neighbours about the transfer station, which could handle up to 180 trucks a day.
Mr Tapiata says when he challenged local and regional councils at the consent hearing, he found few of the officials involved were New Zealand born.
“None of them belonged to a tribe in New Zealand, so I said ‘it might be presumptuous of me to suggest you have no idea about the significance of a marae, urupa, or a bath.’ Most of us in Te Arawa, our families, our hapu and our iwi all have a bath. If you don’t know what a marae is, there’s even less chance you will know what a bath is. It just went blank. Kore wairua, kore whakaaro, there were all those things that were absent,” Mr Tapiata says.
Ngati Hinemihi is seeking an appeal to the Environment Court.