January 16, 2014
Kahungunu says dam consultation flawed
The board of inquiry into the Ruataniwha dam may seek to delay its decision on the controversial project until the Hawke's Bay Regional Council goes back and consults with Maori.
The board chair, Justice Lester Chisholm, floated the idea when the inquiry resumed at Matahiwi Marae after the Christmas break.
He was responding to submissions from Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated and other Maori interests who claim the council has not met its statutory obligations to consult with local Maori over its plans to change the Hawke's Bay Regional Resource Management Plan.
The council is backing a plan to dam the Makaroro River in Central Hawke's Bay to irrigate the Ruataniwha Plains.
The board is supposed to complete hearings and come up with a final decision by April.
The lawyer for Ngati Kahungunu Inc, Jamie Ferguson, said as well as failing to consult with marae and hapu in the catchment as well as the wider iwi, the council hasn’t been able to show how the plan change will enhance and protect the Tukituki River.
He says it does not contain specific conditions to monitor cultural values or provision to allow tangata whenua to exercise their kaitiakitanga obligations.
Moana Jackson told the board of the history and traditions of the Tukituki River and the relationships hapu have with it.
He said because the health and wellbeing of the river is linked to the health and wellbeing of the people, all Maori along its length should be consulted.
Matahiwi Marae chair Tom Mulligan, Nga Hapu o Waimarama representative Bayden Barber and Operation Patiki Founding Chairperson and Kohupatiki Marae chair Margaret Akata McGuire also lined up against the proposal because of lack of consultation and concern over the impact of the scheme on water quality and fisheries, not just in the rivers but along the coast.
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