April 05, 2016
Kahungunu water fight for whole community
The chair of Ngati Kahungunu Inc says the iwi took on the Hawke's Bay Regional Council on behalf of the whole community.
The Environment Court has upheld the tribe's challenge to a change in the regional resource management plan that would have allowed lower water quality in the key aquifers as long as the council could claim it was working to improve water quality elsewhere.
The court said that went totally against what regional councils were supposed to do.
Ngahiwi Tomoana says it's the same council that is promoting massive irrigation schemes and allowing overseas water bottling companies to take water for free.
"They're trying to dam it up so their corporate farmer mates could buy the water and sell it back to us. On the other end they are giving it away for nothing to overseas (companies) and they are taking the best water while they pollute the middle ground where we are, and we had to stand up and oppose it not just for Maori but for all of New Zealanders," he says.
If the regional council appeals the Environment Court judgment, Ngati Kahungunu will keep fighting.
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