May 13, 2013
Plan needed for pounamu future
A Ngāi Tahu man cleared of stealing greenstone says the tribe needs to look forward and start managing its pounamu resource wisely.
In the Greymouth District Court on Friday, the Crown withdrew its prosecution of Bevan Climo after Ngāi Tahu conducted what it called a customary process to settle its dispute with the artist.
Mr Climo says it has been a harrowing two years since a private investigator hired by the tribe made allegations against him.
He says as a great-great-grandson of the last Poutini Paramount Chief and the author of the Pounamu Management Plan, it would be easy to be bitter about his treatment by the Ngāi Tahu rūnanga.
"I know they've got egg all over their face and they know they've got egg all over their face but there is no point getting angry and bitter and twisted about it too much because if you're looking backwards you will never go forward. Unfortunately the tribe have been looking backward, they were more worried about who had what and who was doing what rather than getting on with the mahi of sorting it out for the industry," he says.
Mr Climo says when Ngāi Tahu was given ownership of pounamu as part of its historic treaty settlement in the 1990s it promised the industry a secure supply, but this has still not happened.
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