March 28, 2019
Urupā subdivision angers Ōpōtiki hapū
Whakatōhea hapū Ngāi Tamahaua is mobilising against the extension of a subdivision on dunes west of Ōpōtiki.
Spokesperson Tracy Hillier says 10 years ago the hapū occupied the area to prevent further development once ancient graves were exposed during earthworks for the Waiotahe Drifts subdivision.
She says the area is a well known waahi tapu and borders a conservation area of high ecological value, being part of a sensitive coastal dune system that is now rare in the Bay of Plenty.
Ngāi Tamahaua has challenged the archaeological authority from Heritage New Zealand and the involvement of the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board rather than hapū.
Ms Hillier says a company pursuing profit and using an immoral loophole to develop cannot run bulldozers through urupā, sand dunes and wetlands without expecting direct action in response.
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