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.and
"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."and
"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?
"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."