August 21, 2015
Council to return Taniwha Springs to iwi
A Ngati Rangiwewehi negotiator is crediting Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson with putting pressure on Rotorua Lakes Council to do the right thing over Taniwha Springs.
The hectare of land around the springs, known to the iwi as Te Puna o Pakehaua, was taken in 1966 under the Public Works Act so it could supply water to Ngongotaha.
Councillors last night voted to return the land to the iwi.
Te Rangikaheke Bidois, whose family homestead overlooks the springs, says the groundwork for the decision was laid by a successful challenge in the Environment Court to the extension of the water consent beyond 2018.
That was followed by a Waitangi Tribunal claim and negotiation process.
The Crown’s apology that the taking was legally right but morally wrong opened the door for the council to act.
"Usually we are beating up the crown. There are still issues there, but we needed that support to get some resolution with the council over Taniwha Springs," ms Bidois saya.
The Rotorua Lakes Council has an easement allowing it to take water until 2018, when an alternative supply funded by a $1 million government grant should be in place.
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