At a hui for Hawke’s Bay hapu held Wednesday night at Matahiwi Marae in Clive, Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Inc (NKII) received endorsement to oppose the Ruataniwha Dam.

Speakers voiced strong objections to the Regional Council’s past disregard of Maori water concerns in the region, and with respect to the proposed dam, cited insufficient protection of environmental values and lack of adequate consultation on the project. NKII Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana sized up the sentiment and proposed a position of opposition, which was unanimously approved.

At this point, NKII has been empowered as the authoritative voice for Maori in the region on the dam and related Tukituki Plan Change, both now before an appointed Board of Inquiry. Dr Adele Whyte, acting CEO, also confirmed that NKII was not considering an investment in the dam.

All in all, a bad news night for the Regional Council (or is it Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company?!) with respect to its “damn dam”, as one speaker put it.

HBRC has been dangling Maori job prospects and touting Maori support and even investment commitment for the dam. I guess they will need to un-tick the Maori box and revise their slide shows and other propaganda on the project!

Regional Council candidates Pauline Elliott, Chris Perley, Paul Bailey and I spoke in support of the decision, as did councillor Liz Remmerswaal.

Tom Belford

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3 Comments

  1. What a lot of nonsense Maori being against a scheme that will bring work for their people ,wealth to the area. I bet none of those apposed have ever been to Central Otago and seen the wonderful job irrigation has done for the area. Wake up Maori you need to work to earn a wage not hold your hand out. Take a trip done to Twizel ,have a look at the Lake with the same name down south as that you appose.Pristine clear water ,power stations , and cropping and farming land that is productive. If you want to stop the polution of the Tuki Tuki river stop Waipukarau amd Waipawa dumping their sewerage into the Tuki Tuki. Barry Jones

  2. Wow Barry any more advice for us ignorant unemployed Maori? Wealth and work for who exactly? At the expense of what? Is it all about a potential quick buck? You obviously just see the land and water as only a commodity. Well we don’t and that should not be persecuted. If you want us to assimilate (further) your sh@t out of luck. If you like the place so much why don’t you piss off down south with your ignorant, ethnocentric, racist views, because they are not welcome here. P.S do you sale realestate, is that why you are pro narrow mindedness?

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