I really struggle to understand how insensitive some companies can be.
"The buried remains of 85 bodies have been exhumed by construction of the second runway at Auckland Airport - angering local Maori whose ancestors were unearthed."
This is just terrible. How could this company desecrate these departed.
The two-day hearing at the Auckland Town Hall was for submissions opposing a Manukau City proposal to change the district plan.
Under the plan change, airport company land would be rezoned from rural to urban, to allow for further expansion of commercial activities.
This would mean extending the Metropolitan Urban Limit (MUL) and requires ARC as well as Manukau City approval. In a submission to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, the airport company referred to the MUL extension and said the lack of "greenfield" space for development was holding the city back economically.
The Makaurau Marae opposes the proposed district plan changes.
"For us, this plan change cannot go ahead. They've dug up 85 here. If the plan change goes ahead, they'll dig up another 1000 or so," Mr Roberts told the Weekend Herald."
And in the final sentence of the article it all becomes clear.
"The first stage of the $32 million project is due to be complete by early 2011, in time for New Zealand to host the Rugby World Cup."
And how do local tangata whenua feel?
"The airport company was granted authority by the Historic Places Trust to go ahead with the $32 million project, so any remains accidentally dug up could be removed.
"One or two or three was okay. But 85? Our people are very upset about this," said Mr Roberts."
"More than 50 members of the Makaurau Marae, a hapu of Tainui, attended a joint meeting of the Manukau City Council and Auckland Regional Council to voice their outrage last week.
Kaumatua Te Warena Taua told the panel that the treatment of the tangata whenua was "shocking".
"Just yesterday, more bones of our people were turned up. We told the airport, 'Don't go there, our ancestors are buried there'," Mr Taua said on Thursday.
"Nine of our kaumatua have died in the past three months. This is a sign that things are not good.""
Let's put a stop to this, our people deserve better than this.