Earthworks on ancestral Whanganui maunga suspended after protest

Earthworks on an ancestral maunga subsequent to the Whanganui River have been suspended briefly, after native hapū introduced the bulldozing to a halt, saying they weren’t consulted on the desecration of their wāhi tapu, or sacred website.

Picture: 123RF

Dozens of members of Ngāti Tuera and Ngāti Hinearo went to Punakewhitu maunga final week, after a name went out on social media from Hine Stanely (Ngāti Tuera) for descendants to come back to the location.

A part of the hillside of Punakewhitu, which is understood affectionately as Mild Annie and is privately-owned, was bulldozed to open up the doorway and exit to the property to permit logging vans to get out and in.

It was set to take 2m off the entrance face, and one other 2m off the aspect of the maunga however works have been halted after iwi and hapū members intervened.

The land is taken into account a wāhi tapu to them, and Horizons Regional council stated some websites required particular consent beneath the Heritage New Zealand Act, which requires session with hapū and iwi.

Nevertheless, descendant Kiritahi Firmin (Ngāti Tuera, Ngāti Hinearo) stated no such engagement came about and so they have been left shocked and saddened to see their maunga desecrated.

“We wished to make it clear… that it isn’t simply what can occur to our wāhi tapu when there is no session, even when the land is owned by a personal proprietor.”

Firmin stated the maunga was vastly vital to her folks.

“You’ll drive previous that as you come as much as our awa tipua, to the river highway – everybody drives previous that and you’ll’t miss it. And to listen to the tangi of our kuia aunty Hine Stanely, who known as us collectively, and our aunty Retihia Cribb who known as us collectively, was actually emotional.”

Tamariki from Te Kura o Te Wainui-ā-Rua, Te Kura o Kokohuia and Te Kura Kaupapa o Te Atiahaunui-A-Paparangi additionally got here to the whenua to help hapū.

The landowner, John Oskam, stated the work was consented and there had been seven months of session with Ngā Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui, the post-settlement entity for the iwi and hapū of the area.

He stated he was advised by Horizons Regional Council, which grants the consents, that Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui have been the one group they have been required to seek the advice of with previous to looking for a useful resource consent.

“There appears to have been a techniques failure someplace alongside the road”.

“It was assumed that after going by means of Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui that that might all be put into place, preserving in thoughts that what we have been doing in our opinion, was smart, not in depth. And if something, it opened up the view. So we have been stunned that it offended folks,” Oskam stated.

“I can perceive that individuals additional up the river weren’t consulted, is that fully my fault – I do not suppose so – I imply, we’ve an iwi physique with NTT whose job it’s to do this, I think about.”

Ngā Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui has been contacted for remark.

Oskam stated he was advised by hapū members that they might be in contact “as soon as they’d achieved their very own inner consultations”.

Nevertheless, he stated he might solely wait for as long as there was forestry gear they could not get out, as a result of the present observe was too slender.

“I feel we are going to wait till subsequent week, however some folks have stated it is going to take for much longer… I feel it is unfair, I feel even from a security viewpoint we should always be capable to get secure entry onto our property,” he stated.

In an announcement, Horizons Regional Council stated it understood work had been suspended and that the landowner, forest firm and hapū have been in discussions.

It has but to answer additional enquiries from RNZ about which iwi/hapū stakeholders it had advised the landowner to seek the advice of with, whether or not iwi/hapū have been explicitly consulted on the useful resource consent of the earthworks, and if it adopted as much as verify that session occurred.

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