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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Why have a dog and bark too?

Whakatane mayor Tony Bonne is the only civic leader in the Bay of Plenty region not to publically support the full removal of the Rena from Otaiti (Astrolabe) Reef near Motiti.
He is also a heavy proponent of the proposed marina in the Whakatane (Ohinemataroa) River.

Last week Mr Bonne attended the consultation hui at Wairaka with Whakatane District Council chief executive Marty Greenfell, council business services manager and Whakamax cinemas owner Aaron Milne and a three-member support team.
The meeting was a chance for tangata whenua to hear, “kanohi ki te kanohi”, about the council’s intentions for land at Piripai and a submission from the council’s development arm to draft district plan that includes a request to rezone 60 Bunyan Road to a deferred marina area.

In a move that some believed was sneaky and underhanded, the council had delivered its submission to itself in the last week of the time allowed without seeking any consultation from any interested party except through Te Runanga o Ngati Awa.
So the hui was to explain the move.  

And the admission that Mr Bonne did not support the full removal of the Rena was a sign that conversations weren’t going to be easy.
Mr Bonne said the council had come as the “landowner” of 60 Bunyan Road and the neighbouring 77 Bunyan Road.

The two sites have been publically identified by Mr Bonne and sections of the council as a potential marina precinct.
Mr Bonne said a retirement village with a marina and retail area attached at the two sites was the only way to grow Whakatane.

“We have never been misrepresented about what council envisions on that type of land. It is really only as half way step in terms of 60 Bunyan Road and in terms of what we put in the submission and that is a deferred marina zone.”
In support of the mayor Mr Greenfell said a sale and purchase agreement made with the Whakatane Marina Society in 2008 allowed for a memorandum of understanding that would enable “marina-type activity” if the conditions allowed for it.

He said the entire proposed development was projected to net the council $14 million.
“If we don’t sell we are going to have to make some changes in the longe term plan and there will be some rate increases. I was the one who has been pushing for a retirement village and there is interest out there for a retirement village.”

The signal was clear: they want their “marine precinct” and they want it there.
Requests to create a new “deferred marina zone” as outlined in the council’s submission, which can be viewed here may mean that in the future developers may not need a resource consent to build their marina.

Now, here is the reason why Ngati Hokopu with other Ngati Awa hapu including Ngati Pukeko and Taiwhakaea agreed to this meeting.
That site, 60 Bunyan Road, is a stone’s throw from one of the Ngati Awa’s most significant sites, Opihi Whanaungakore Urupa. The site of the proposed retirement village, at 77 Bunyan Road, is on land that many still believe is part of the ancient urupa and many Ngati Awa members actively oppose any development in these areas.

One of the many tools people are using to continue the defence of our wahi tapu, has been through the district plan process.
Submissions to the draft district plan closed on 13 September and the council received more than 200 from Maori. Many opposed the development of a marina and also the residential development at 77 Bunyan Road.

The submissions can be reviewed here and the Ngati Hokopu ki Wairaka submission here.
On Thursday Mr Milne came to Wairaka marae again to meet with the Opihiwhanaungakore Trust.

The trust is the legal owner of Opihi Whanaungakore Urupa, and in the trustees’ eyes they are the kaitiaki, guardians, of that place.
Mr Milne had attended the previous meeting with Ngati Hokopu but this time he had only bought a legal advisor for support.

Again, though, his message was clear – the proposed marina was a priority for the Whakatane District Council.
Reiterating the mayor’s words Mr Milne said he spoke from the council as a landowner.

However he acknowledged the council had an obligation under the district plan process to consult including with tangata whenua.
“In order to give transparency and accountability to messages that the council divorces itself from being a statutory body.

“If the deferred marina zone as provided for any for development from there that requires the developer to go through a full resource consent consultation.”
He agreed the council had not been entirely open with tangata whenua and other related parties

“The council hasn’t been very good at this, in any type of move like this, and what the council should do, and usually does do, is get cultural impact reports.”
But Mr Milne had to admit that no cultural impact assessment had been done for 60 Bunyan Road. He could not answer who were the Ngati Awa representatives who had attended a field trip in 2006 with the Whakatane Marina Society and other parties, despite using it as an example of consultation.

Nor could he say what those representatives had said during that trip because there was no binding agreement from it.
Opihiwhanaungakore trustee Rapata Kopae was staunch in his position.

He said as a direct neighbour to the proposed marina site, the trust was the most affected party and should be considered.
“I would like to stand in front of you and tell you people that we will never go away… And that place is so tapu that you are never going to see a development over there,” he said.

So, here we are.
The answer is still no, not there, and their argument is, predictably, the economic benefits that may be derived from the development.

Therefore, while the war has been raging for more than 20 years it is not over and, again, it is going to be a long and arduous battle.
And, if we are to win and protect our ancient urupa and ancestors then we must have resources.

Now is the time for those in Te Runanga o Ngati Awa (TRONA) board to stand up and be counted. We are going to need legal, planning and financial support.
My challenge to the new TRONA board is: how are you going to help us?


  1. Farkin deadly cousin!!

  2. Awesum gurl, lucky we have whanau like you to keep us up to date with wat is going on in our town. I congratulate you and am dead against this new marina. Kia tu tahi tatou whanau

  3. Congrats Karla, keep up the good work. Fight whanau for our whenua

  4. If we didnt have all these new board members coming on board I would almost say the runaga will do nothing. It will be good to see if the new faces can shake some action into the runanga and get them to support the hapu in our fight against the marina. While we are at the meetings going toe to toe with the Council Pouroto is giving them a taiaha in the front page of the paper??? What kind of message is that from the dep chair? "Kia ora, don't worry about the hapu, heres a gift from the runanga anyway"!! Our hokowhitu cousins and the toka tu moana stood up and fought for opihi last time AGAINST the runanga so we need to all join together to do it again.

    I too want to know where the runanga stands on this issue.

  5. Awesome update Karla. Like I said. Look for the ones getting the backhander. There may be economic gains in the developments, but for who? The ones with the big launches in the marina, and residents of the retirement village, which I doubt any are Maori. I think Ngati Awa Holdings should invest in this argument, if we win we stand to gain $16 million under our control. I wonder if the mayor realises that Bunyan Road might be claimable due to the modern confiscation model of non-payment of rates or is that the other part of town? Is Bunyan Road running over Wharepaia?

    1. Wharepaia? Those landsellers? The land is Taiwhakaea. Get it right. The thieving government put others into our land. They sold it. That's how the council has it now. In 1935 the "owners" were divided into sellers and non sellers. Taiwhakaea were the non sellers. Taiwhakaea has made submissions to the WDC supported by Hikakino and Rangihouhiri. End of story. Keep out of our land and our business.

  6. Get rid of Scribble Face

    1. The only other time I have seen the phrase 'Scribble Face' being used was when redneck white people were having a go at Tame Iti when he was being accused of terrorism acts. We expect them to fling crap over our culture, our traditions and our art-forms - so what's your excuse?

    2. hahahahahaha scribble face I like that! #NgatiAwasLenBrown #PimpinTillMyMokoFallsOff

    3. What? Still haven't got your moko kauae kare? Ma te wa ka kitea. Oops that's right, you got dumped. Again. Ka aroha hoki.

    4. Sorry havent got a clue what you are talking about but yes ma te wa ka kitea. Whats done in the dark will be brought to light. #RememberThatScribbleFace #MoreSkeletonsRattlingInTheCloset?

    5. Yep, you said it, haven't got a clue.

  7. It's easy for the council to consult with the Runanga, and say they have consulted with Ngati Awa, they can check the box. This approach doesn't mean that they have consulted with those affected, or diminish the Council's responsibilities to the hapu of Ngati Awa.
    The Runanga also has a role in making sure that the hapu and whanau of Ngati Awa get the right information, and that the Runanga is advocating on our behalf. That is the Runanga responsibility to us as uri o Ngati Awa.
    If the Runanga doesn't go on and consult with the hapu and affected whanau, or include hapu and whanau input how do we hold the Runanga accountable? Wait another 3 years to vote them out??????

    1. The runanga held a series of hui re making submissions to the WDC district plan. Karla even attended one. Through the efforts of the runanga 240 submissions were made - go to the WDC site and check out the submissions and you will see that many of them were done on a standard form. They all are opposed to the development.

  8. Has TRONA formally opposed the marina project yet? I couldn't find their submission on the WDC site. Or have they just held a couple of hui to give out a template and left the hapu to it? My limited knowledge of the submission process is that submissions that are made from a template are not given as much weight as originals from individuals. So the runanga advice may have made the submissions less effective? Can someone clarify that? TRONA are meant to be speak for the hapu - not just help us speak for ourselves. The pakeha settlement system gave the hapu mana to the runanga and now they are nowhere to be seen. Where is their submission - the last I saw from them in the paper said they were "reserving their decision" sounds like they are passing the buck to me. Where is Beverly? Someone needs to give her her job back and hand her the mandate to fight on our behalf. The current effort from TRONA is pathetic.

    1. I think she's still in rehab. And yes, you're right, you have very limited knowledge on the submission process. It's mostly a waste of time. Wake up Maoris. Your voice will be ignored as usual. All of this flapping around will not make a shred of difference. All this gnashing of teeth and flailing about. Get into the reald world and stop deluding yourselves. That's the pathetic part. The council will get its way unless they are legally challenged. And who wants to pay for that? I'd rather give the money to the hapu.

    2. Anon the first: The runanga is a servant of hapu - hapu argue this all the time. It's never okay for the runanga to speak on behalf of hapu. And, if you had bothered to attend the hui you would have seen first hand the work and effort the runanga put in to informing hapu members of the draft district plan, and what it means for their hapu and whanau members.

      The advice given by the runanga was expert advice that other Iwi would be proud or even privileged to have. The fact that 240 odd submissions look alike makes no difference because it highlights to the WDC that there is going to be a fight over the development as it progresses.

      Don't forget we are a settled Iwi and that means we have the putea to take it as far as possible - neither the developer or WDC would like that as it means a cost to the ratepayer and some rich prick's pocket.

      Anon the second, as above and I would add, you are here arguing this point because someone in the Ngati Awa past flapped, flailed and gnashed their teeth so you could get to enjoy the rights and the putea they fought for - over many generations I might add. Quitting is pathetic.

  9. Yeah right like the runanga will ever give any cash to the hapu (the $5k grant is insulting so I wont mention that). You are more deluded than anyone. The runanga are farcical, They haven't got a clue about anything except ducking and diving trying to cover up.

    If we want to protect the mana of our urupa we have to be staunch and draw the line in the sand and fight. It worked at Bastion Pt, it worked for Te Urewera and it will work here. We have a strong case legal help would be nice but if we don't get it, we just fight harder and remain staunch.

    The worst thing we can do is listen to Mr Coloniser up there ^^^^^ he sounds like a kupapa anyway

  10. Oh it's easy to find the kupapa hapu in Ngati Awa, just read our History. It's all there for you. Getting land for themselves, giving evidence against Ngati Awa people, selling that land before it's even finalised. It still goes on today. Just look at who is on the board now.

    Shows what you know, the Runanga gave $50K to hapu plus the annual grant. The funniest point is the Runanga members, VOTED IN BY HAPU, still have not put up the grant. Yet in a flash they VOTED THEMSELVES A 100% PAY RISE by doubling the number of meetings they attend. There is a a better idea. Give all of the surplus back to marae. Keep the Runanga small on a budget of $500K. Give the other $1 million to the marae - not hapu, the marae. There are 18 marae so we'll all get $55K a year. We could do a lot with that.

    Most hapu can't even get 100 to the marae for a hui let alone a centennial.

    Protect the mana of the urupa? This from the people who SOLD OUR LAND so that Pakehas got it and the council has it now. And it was nothing to do with rates etc, that tired old excuse for land selling. The land from Opihi to Rangitaiki River belongs to Taiwhakea, no one else. Keep out of our land and our business.