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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kirkwood gripes at Gardiner intervention

The director of a trust that is opposing the dumping of sewage on an Island in the Manukau Harbour says consultants from other iwi should keep their opinions to themselves.

Carmen Kirkwood, of the Huakina Development Trust, which has a longterm involvement in protecting the waters of the harbour, has put forward a submission against the proposal by Watercare Services to dump sewage on Te Motu a Hiaroa, otherwise known as Puketutu Island.

Ms Kirkwood disputes evidence given for the Wastecare company by Maori consultant and former Te Puni Kokiri head Wira Gardner from Ngati Awa that remnants of tapu have been removed from the island when the sewerage plant was built on it in 1958.

“This is not an emotional issue. It’s not a belief. It’s a fact. I’m sick and tired of Maori consultants from other iwi coming into Waiohua rohe and telling us about our taonga and telling Pakeha and being expert witnesses for Pakeha organisations and getting paid for it,” she says.

Mrs Kirkwood says as long as local Maori say it is tapu and teach their that children it is tapu the isalnd remains tapu.

She says the island would be better suited as a wildlife sanctuary considering the large number of rare bird species currently in habitat.


Shane Jones had defended Labour's right to use all options to voice its opposition to legislation passed under urgency to pave the way for an Auckland Supercity.

Labour put up nearly a thousand amendments, which prompted a walkout of the debating chamber by Maori Party Co leader Tariana Turia who said the delaying tactics were a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Mr Jones says the legislation, which covers $25 billion of assts and affects over a million people, is ill conceived and warranted Labour’s use of legitimate parliamentary process, even if riled their political opponents.

“It was interesting to see John Carter from Northland. He’s an old hand in the House. He was going backwards and forwards out of the House, racing to the clerks office and various other obscure places in parliament like he had a medical condition, so there was an element of farce in terms of how the Government was dealing with our tactics, but hey, if you’re not going to let the people speak, no select committee, no Maori representation, no guarantee of protection for the assets, then it’s our right and it’s a legitimate activity of the Parliament to hammer the living daylights out of the Government,” Mr Jones says.


Green MP Meteria Turei says the proposed national cycle way could open doors for Maori tourism operators to capitalise on enviro-cultural tourism.

The government last week pledged $50 million to extend existing cycle ways into a national route.

The Dunedin based MP, who has competed in a number of triathlons in recent years, says the Otago Rail Trail attracts over 80,000 cyclists a year, and the national cycle way has the potential to create new opportunities for Maori in the tourism sector.

“With this money invested in the cycle way we will get another bite at the cherry and some of the existing Maori tourism businesses involved in environmental stuff can branch out into cycling tours and things and use both culture and environment in branding and marketing,” Ms Turei says.


A South Auckland Labour MP says Pacific Islanders will out in force to support Maori on next week's hikoi to gain representation on Auckland super city council.

Samoan William Sio says Pacific Islander leaders recognise the special place of Maori in Auckland and that it needs to be represented on the council.

“If this Government, the National Government, is unprepared to recognized te Tiriti o Waitangi rights of tangata whenua and to provide due respect to the people of the land, there is no way we will get recognized and acknowledged for our part in building this country,” Mr Sio says.

The MP for Mangere says like Maori many Pacific Islanders saw comments by National's Mt Albert candidate Melissa Lee about the new northwestern motorway stopping criminals coming to the area from the south as highly offensive.

He says along with the super city governance issue it has increased anti-government feeling across South Auckland.


And Canterbury based Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says the discovery of the bones of 80 ancestors during the construction of Auckland Airport’s second runway is an example of the lack of Maori input in local body politics and he fears worse in a supercity structure.

Mr Taonui, the head of Maori and indigenous studies at Canterbury University says if the relationship between man whenua and the local councils involved was strong, the koiwi would not have languished in a container for almost a year as has been the case.

He says over the years Maori have been more than generous to the people of Auckland.

“They gave harbours. They gave land one way or another. The Vector Arena was established on a 50 percent discount on land rent. Who else has contributed to the city more? It’s Maori and they can’t be left out of the decision-making,” Mr Taonui says.


A member of the whanau referance group for the Families Commission stands by her decision to quit following the appointment of Christine Rankin as a Families Commissioner.

Druis Barret, a former head of the Maori Womens Welfare League says Ms Rankin is the wrong person for the job, after making derogatory comments about Maori and child abuse.

Mrs Barret says she resigned as she couldn't tolerate the thought of Ms Rankin having input into a Maori focused initiative put forward by new families commissioner Kim Workman.

“I didn't want a Pakeha woman like that, who spoke down about Maori, making decisions ion the whanau concept that Kim and them are going to be putting forward and she is one of the commissioners, who will have a say of the whanau development that is going to happen in the Families Commission. I didn’t want a Pakeha woman that doesn’t know much about whanau Maori making a decision on our behalf,” Mrs Barrett says.


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