Hapu representatives from Ngati Hurungaterangi, Te Roro-o-te-Rangi and Ngati Uenukukopako, as well as various whanau and land trusts, met with NZTA and their consultants Opus International.
Harry Wilson, one of the NZTA Directors stood to make the announcement that the Eastern Arterial Route (EAR) option had been selected for development along the eastern lake side of Rotorua.They couldn't care less about the people and their wishes
Spokesperson for the 3 affected hapu, Hera Naera, responded to the shock announcement. ”We are disappointed with your decision as it will cut our whānau off from their lands.
This decision will decimate traditional wāhi tapu and disconnect whānau from their papakainga along the Owhata, Ngapuna areas.Consultation? I don't think so, they have not listened to the wishes of the people - they couldn't care less about the people and that is their shame and this country's shame.
A new formal process had now been initiated according to the Resource Management Act (RMA), that a alteration to the designation process under the RMA would be started and that all affected parties would now be notified by email.
Mr Wilson continued by saying that NZTA and Opus would be meeting with the Rotorua District Council at 11am today to formally make their announcement.The response of whānau and hapu members was to all walk out of the meeting showing their strong solidarity and rejection of the decision. This land confiscation is what tangata whenua are fighting against and the fight is the same fight that previous generations have fought.
A road is not more important than the wishes of tangata whenua and the decision makers will find that out the hard way I hope.