Friday, September 18, 2009

Hapu wins against council - in Hastings

Great news

"A proposal by Hastings District Council to redesignate land to create a road connecting Havelock North to the Hawke's Bay expressway has been declined by independent commissioners.

The move would have been the first step in acquiring the land compulsorily under the Public Works Act. The road would have crossed a 40.5ha block of land. Just 72ha remain of a 730ha block once owned by local hapu Ngati Hori.

The route on the northern side of Hastings was first mooted in 1974 and was the subject of a Privy Council hearing in 2001 after the council rejected a Maori Land Court ruling that local hapu could issue an injunction against the land being taken compulsorily.

Commissioners Alan Watson, Terry Brown and Rauru Kirikiri said Maori had longstanding links with the land and "their mana has been diminished along with the diminution of their land holdings, and this is a cultural slight of immense dimensions within the Maori world".

Mrs Maguire, who attended the Privy Council hearing in London and has spent years fighting for her ancestral land, said she was thrilled with the decision.

"This is our last remnant on the Karamu Reserve. It's only small but it's our last connection to the land. We've got journals going back to 1863 showing how much food our ancestors grew here.
"It's the principle of whakapapa, your roots, your identity. This is where I come from, this is where I am. That's why it's important to me."

What a great start to rebuilding on ancestral land. Small victories and large victories. An 'h' there and a stop to desecration here... inch by inch milimetre by milimetre it is all coming home.

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