May 25, 2020
Muller seeking to undo Motiti win
Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller may have convinced his caucus he’s the one to lead the National Party and possibly the country, but back in his electorate, he’s got tangata whenua worried.
Mr Muller has launched a petition aimed at pressuring the Government to overturn an Environment Court decision ordering the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to establish marine reserves on reefs around Motiti Island about 10 km off Tauranga Harbour.
Motiti Rohe Moana Trust advisor Te Atarangi Sayers says hapū have pushed for more than half a century to protect their fisheries.
The court’s decision was a major win for the hapū, and they don’t want to see their efforts to bring life back to the moana stymied by political posturing.
"It’s a shadow of what it once was and I think Todd's neglecting that. He's, in essence, said there's nothing wrong with the ocean and there's nothing wrong with Tangaroa and we should just treat it as it is, as being part of our experience, and it's not. What we have is a Moana that's depleted and degraded and has been trashed over the last 50 years and we need to turn that around," he says.
Mr Sayers says the Environment Court’s orders provide a positive way for hapū, councils and government departments to work together.
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