Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mokihinui abandoned by kaitiaki

I note that Ngati Waewae have endorsed their position, in the weekend, regarding the proposed Mokihinui River hydro project. My initial post is here - with strong comments.

It is one thing to be neutral and try to make the best of a very bad situation and it is another to publically support the dam. Publically supporting that which was once strongly opposed is not right especailly when the reasons for opposition are still there.

What sorts of arguments did Ngati Waewae initially use to oppose this dam?

from Point 3 of the introduction within the oral submission - Rick Barber
"I wish to note how honoured and privileged I am to have the opportunity to represent both Te Rūnanga o Ngati Waewae and Ngā Awa o Mokihinui at this important consent hearing, which, in many ways, serves as another opportunity for Ngāti Waewae to obtain meaningful recognition of and provision for the outstanding cultural values associated with the Mokihinui. Hitherto, the vital relationship between Ngāti Waewae and the Mokihinui had been almost entirely overlooked in favour of corporate quest for so called “renewable” sources of energy generation (as evidenced by the construction without Ngati Waewae and Ngāi Tahu input of the Arnold, Mokihinui, Aviemore, Benmore, Ohau, Pukaki and Tekapo hydro systems)."
and Point 4
"Needless to say, Ngāti Waewae, Poutini Ngai Tahu does not want to see such a culturally destructive approach to energy generation repeated again in our takiwa it is in this context that Ngati Waewae is opposed to the Mokihinui Hydro proposal.
"a) That the concept of hydro electricity generation…has tended to be undertaken in a culturally insensitive and distasteful manner across the motu / island and the proposal here is no exception."
"10. For this and other reasons, Ngāti Waewae continues to advocate for the awa Mokihinui to be left in its natural near pristine state, for the reasons outlined in the CIA and.
• Our relationship with the Mokihinui, including his genealogical/whakapapa associations with the Mokihinui.
• our role and obligations as kaitiaki; the role that the Mokihinui plays as a source of mahinga kai; the angst engendered by the application and the likely future state of the awa; and our aspirations for the future management of the River."
It is hard to see what the big changes have been apart from the commitment for meridian to pay some money to Ngati Waewae as a mitigation for the destruction of the mauri of the river - as if that could ever make a difference.

What does Rick Barber say?

From Stuff
"In 2008, Rick Barber submitted against the dam because of its cultural and ecological impact.
Barber said he was part of Ngati Waewae's land and environment unit at the time.
However, Ngati Waewae changed its stance during the hearing and claimed Barber did not represent its true views.
Barber said yesterday that his submission was "absolutely" the iwi's position after consultation and site visits.
"Any Maori who would like to see a river dammed isn't Maori as far as I am concerned."
Whilst i agree with the sentiment, sadly this isn't true. There are some maori who are only interested in their own personal advancement and others who measure themselves via money or position. These people are maori. But perhaps Mr Spock has the right way to look at it,

"It's life Jim, but not as we know it."


Ana said...

brilliant post

Anonymous said...

It's not just iwi whose principles are up for sale - DOC and historic Places Trust also accept funding to withdraw their appeals.It's so disheartening for small environmental groups, most of whom can no longer afford to appeal to the Environment Court (it now costs $500 to register an appeal and $10000 bond). Insults to mana require utu and the insult to the mana of Ngati Waewae by those who stitched up this deal should be of concern to the perpetrators.

Anonymous said...

Solid Energy - now it seems we need to ask Ngati Waewae what they agreed to in order with to get the reported $75k pa fom Solid Energy.

No doubt they will not be opposing coal mines in National Parks - or at least the opposition will last until the $$ appear.

As has been said before - follow the money and you will find the same names coming up over and over.

I am resigned to the need for mitigation packages as a mechanism - but if our cousins think building a marae in Arahura will atone for the damage to mauri of the river that was dammed or to the whenua they allowed to be ripped up they are mistaken.

I am interested in the idea of where the money is better spent - $3 mill on a marae or $3 mill on the health, housing and education of the folks of Ngati Waewae?

A marae is important, but perhaps one less grandiose that was not contructed using tainted money would be better from a tikanga perspective.

Anonymous said...

The Westport News has some interesting information not picked up yet in the mainstream media. Note Solid Energy agreement to pay $375 to the marae development plus other sums to Waewae - are they really saying they will not be influenced by this when they are processing resource consents.