February 14, 2013
Mana whenua want say on harbours
Mana whenua are pushing for a greater say in what happens to Waikato’s west coast harbours.
Tony Spellman from action group Ngā Tai ō Te Uru says a hui last weekend at Waipapa Marae in Kāwhia showed clear support for a new entity that can represent the people of Aotea, Whaingaroa and Kāwhia harbours.
He says such an entity could engage with the Crown on environmental protection.
“Waikato-Tainui has been saying that they have the mandate to do these things and little has happened. People on the coasts, like ourselves, have said if we say that we are mana whenua, we need to be doing mana whenua things. We’ve said this is the basis of our moving forward because of care and protection of our harbour isn’t done by remote control. This needs to be done by people on the ground”.
Tony Spellman says mana whenua are also keen to lead negotiations on the historic claims over the harbours, which are unfinished business from the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu settlement.
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