June 15, 2017
Environment champion drove tribal strategies
The chair of Waikato Tainui's Te Arataura executive, Rahui Papa, says the late Dame Nganeko Minihinnick was a major driver of the tribe's environmental strategies that were of national and international significance.
Dame Nganeko died today at the age of 77.
She was identified at an early age as a leader of Ngati Te Ata and Tahuna Pa near Waiuku, and in 1970 was named the new Zealand Maori Council Young Maori Woman of the Year.
Mr Papa says she worked with the Tainui Maori Trust Board and its environmental arm the Huakina Trust on protection of the Waikato River and the Manukau Harbour, aided by lawyer Sian Elias,
"She was one of the first ones to take the crown to the High Court and some of the results of that case have been the inclusion into the resource Management Act and other legislation that meaningful consultation with Maori must happen before environmental aspects be embarked on," says Rahui Papa.
Dame Nganeko was not prepared to settle for anything less than meaningful engagement, and worked to develop fruitful relationships with local and central government.
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