Friday, April 9, 2010

if you sell out are you a sellout?

What a disgrace - that some would sellout their kaitiaki role for money. What about the children and their children?

From stuff
"Meridian Energy has confirmed it donated money to a West Coast iwi which changed its mind over its opposition to the massive Mokihinui River hydro dam.
Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae, the council representing a sub-tribe of Ngai Tahu, strenuously opposed the dam, but changed its mind during the hearing. This week, it publicly supported the scheme.
Yesterday, the iwi said Meridian had agreed to pay into a fund "to monitor effects". Information on "anything else" would be released after a runanga meeting at Arahura this weekend, runanga chairman Francois Tumahai, of Christchurch, said.
Meridian confirmed that it had made a payment, but declined to say how much.
Meridian said yesterday that it had made a payment so Ngati Waewae could "fund other cultural initiatives". "They did a lot of work for us in assessing the cultural impact of the project," spokesman Alan Seay said. "The cultural project we are funding is to offset the impact of the project on the mauri [life force] of the river."
In Ngati Waewae's original submission, represented by Richard Barber, it opposed the scheme for cultural reasons. "Ngati Waewae considers that the construction of the dam, power-generating stations and the associated infrastructure, such as the lake and transmission lines, will degrade the awa [river] and present a significant loss to the tangata whenua," he told commissioners.
However, Mr Tumahai said Mr Barber had not represented the true views of Ngati Waewae. The iwi had originally had a neutral stance on the project, he told Westport News.
Idiots - you think you can offset the destruction of the mauri of the awa by setting aside some cultural fund?

Destroy the rivers, destroy the land and destroy your mana. What a shameful incident, I hope the true voices of Ngati Waewae oppose these sellouts.


Tararua tracks said...

This is one of the most disgraceful and hypocritical of acts. You cannot claim to be a guardian if everything you guard is for sale. Disgusting.

Richard Parata said...

The question is this. Did Ngati Waewae abrogate their cultural objections in return for money? I find it a little difficult to understand that Richard Barber who provided the initial submission "had not represented the true views of Ngati Waewae" On such an important issue as this surely he had the blessing of the Runanga. In the past Meridian provide "mitigation" They paid mitigation at the Mana pouri tailrace project to a variety of groups including Ngai Tahu. A group claiming to represent Waitaha dropped their objections to a Waitaki River project in return for mitigation. Just shows how powerful money is.

Cactus Kate said...

As one of the many (I hope) non-Maori readers of your blog Marty Mars I trust you understand the worth of explaining your point rather than cut and pasting.

Can you perhaps explain to us "non-Maori" the reasons that Maori object to resource consents so readily and the process they look for in the objections being removed?

Else we cannot be blamed for drawing the conclusion if the cheque is large enough the intangible concepts that Maori hold up as the reason for objecting can suddenly disappear?

In white man's world we call that a bribe or extortion depending on how it is delivered.

Marty Mars said...

Yes richard it doesn't look too good at the moment, but I am optimistic that there is an explanation.

Kate - my mind doesn't work that way and it isn't really relevant. My view is my view and I'm happy to debate why i think certain things and ways but i don't speak for maori - I'm just a single voice, my voice.

We all have our preconcieved ideas and hopefully my piwakawaka postings spark some different thinking to the norm.

I can well understand why you may believe if the cheque is big enough, for some maori, everything else folds, but that's the way of this world isn't it and as members of the world, maori have people who think like that too.

For me personally i wouldn't allow the consents and would hold that view. We have cut down and dug up too much of this land already and i think we should stop. The short-term pursuit of personal wealth is the opposite of what i believe, which is the long-term pursuit of community wealth. So I wouldn't allow the consents. But i still believe in progress and advancement just not at the cost of our environment and ecosystems.

Anonymous said...

Kia ora koutou

Every case needs judged on its merits. The RMA allows for all affected parties to identify the harm and to seek mechanisms to remedy or mitigate the harm identified. This is what happened on the Waiau River many years ago. The pakeha interests got $5mill and the Ngai Tahu interests got $1 mill of which 25% was for monitoring and doing eel transfers etc

Negotiating a mitigation package is not necessarily a sell out when the only other option is that the project will proceed anyway.

In this case, I have no confidence that the mitigation package is directly relevant to the dam or the environmental harm that will no doubt arise.

Rick Barker did have the mandate to speak for Waewae at the time but a few power hungry money hungry folks are now running the show over there.

Such actions make it hard for genuine objections to be taken seriously and undermine the process.

adrian said...

Anonymous - the "other option" was never that this dam would proceed anyway. Rather, the support of Ngati Waewae - purchased by Meridian for an "undisclosed" sum - impacted on the very decision to allow the dam to go ahead. It's bribery, pure and simple, and not compensation.

Anonymous said...

Kia ora Adrian

While it is a quaint notion that somehow the input of tangata whenua could act as a veto right on projects such as these - sadly it is not the case. So sometimes pragmatism has to rule.

Meridian does see benefits from attempting to get tangata whenua support and has a history of at least attempting to reach agreeements to gain that support.

Iwi are not alone in reaching such agreements, DoC, Fish and Game and Forest and Bird have all in different times and different places agreed mitigation packages as have neighbouring landowners te mea te mea.

Sometimes these agreements amount to a "sell out" and sometimes these result in some serious attempts to migigate the harm.

We can all judge for ourselves which category this agreement falls into by seeing how much of the package is for mitigation of the harm we know will arise and how much is for other more distant purposes.

the Flaneur said...

Whether or not Mokihinui goes ahead has never depended on the opinions or any or all the members of Ngati Waewae. If it does go ahead it will only be because those opposed have been unable articulate their case to the NZ public. Sadly, the reaction to news reports featuring Ngati Waewae suggest the opponents to the dam are more inclined to alienate than persuade.

Marty Mars said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim MacTaggart said...

Kia ora,

I recently found the link to your article on the Facebook page opposing the Mokihinui dam and you pretty much summed up my reaction to the entire dirty scenario.

I was raised in Mokihinui for nineteen years and last year moved to Christchurch to begin studying towards a degree in Maori and journalism. I have a reasonably strong environmental mindset as does my father who has avidly opposed the dam from day one.

This comes as much from a desire to protect an area of such amazing natural diversity as it does from a sense of self preservation. To cut a long story short, the dam will interrupt the flow of sediment down the river to the coastline, that being around 380,000 tons per year, in turn increasing the coastal erosion rates threefold and effectively spelling disaster for my family’s home and land which is situated directly next to Mokihinui’s existing sea-wall. To add insult to injury, my mother, my siblings and I all belong to Ngati Waewae and during the Hapu’s entire consultation with Meridian, we and another Maori family living in Mokihinui were never once approached.

I have always been a stern and enthusiastic supporter of Maori culture and the values that this entails, even more so since beginning my studies. Added to the larger cultural blunders that Marty has already outlined, I am disgusted and truly disillusioned that Ngati Waewae would choose to sell my family up the river, literally no less.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora Jim

Thanks for your powerful comment. There is no way that they are going to build that dam - no way!

Perhaps everything that has happened regarding the runaka will bring about some changes, more people wanting to be involved, wanting to be part of the decisions. And if that happens then that will be good. Changes and improvements need to be made.

If you ever want to write a guest post about living up there, or anything jim - send me an email.

Kia kaha