Protest in Taranaki

March 24th, 2009 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The Affairs minister has pledged support for a North Taranaki hapu as it continues to occupy land and hold up an oil company’s drilling project.

Last night about 25 members of the Otaraua hapu prepared for their second night blocking access to a site being used by Greymouth Petroleum for a new pipeline to Te Kowhai gasfield off Ngatimaru Rd at Tikorangi.

The hapu took over on Sunday after claims work would desecrate Tikorangi Pa, a waahi tapu (sacred) site, which is not protected by the district plan.

So why is it not protected:

New Plymouth District Council consents manager Ralph Broad said the site was not protected under the district plan because it had been left off a list of waahi tapu sites provided by local iwi and hapu.

So why is the company at fault? Why is no one asking questions of why the hapu did not include it on the list?

Maori Affairs Minister said he was “deeply disappointed” by the situation and said Maori interests needed to be taken more seriously.

He said the company should have consulted with the hapu despite not legally being required to do so.

“It shows ignorance by the companies that they can go ahead without thinking. I would expect to see consultation with iwi,” he said.

With all due respect I disagree with Dr Sharples. It is primarily the role of the Council to consult with iwi and hapu (which they did) and mark on the distract plans areas of special significance. Only if a resource consent relates to one of those areas would you expect consultation. I don’t agree that each and every resource consent should require consultation – this is the whole purpose of the District Plan.

Hapu plans to take the issues to the environment court and seek an interim enforcement order to halt works that had been put off until today.

And that is the appropriate thing to do – more productive than protesting outside against a company that has obeyed the law.

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27 Responses to “Protest in Taranaki”

  1. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    Mumbo jumbo from more aspiring members of the gravy train.

    What they don’t know is that their respective Maori elites have never had it any better at the expense of the taxpayer. The fat cats are getting fatter while the common ones starve. How ironic!

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  2. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    Drill it up! fuck ‘em!

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  3. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    The list of things that dissapoint Mr Sharples grows day by day. A man with his testicles in a vice is often ok for the first turn or two…

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  4. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    Greenfly … have you received clearance from Jeanette and Russell for your statement. Seems to me that Sharples is saying exactly what I would expect the Greens to say.

    But David is right. Why the f–k is the exploration company the fall guy in all of this.

    Point the finger at the Hapu who clearly took the matter so seriously that they didn’t bother to lift a finger to take advantage of due process …. and then crys foul.

    Drill on.

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  5. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    The company should pay for that Taniwha removal.

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  6. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Ross – yes. I got the green light.

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  7. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    In the early days of the RMA the courts took a lenient view of such “post plan” discoveries of waahi tapu because we were all have to get used to the idea of participating in plan writing and making submissions.

    But the RMA became law in 1991 and by now everyone, and Maori in particular, are familiar with the process, and EC judges are increasingly impatient which discoveries of waahi tapu sites only once something begins to happen.

    If such sites were worth protecting they would have been protected by now. Northland District Council has something like 1200 sites identified on its plans.

    If I forget to make a submission on a plan rule or policy, which then turns up and bites me, I get little sympathy from anyone.
    Iwi have the benefit that Councils MUST consult with them by law during the plan preparation. The rest of us do not enjoy that privilege.
    With privilege comes responsibility.
    Pita Sharples would do more for his constituency by reminding them of that simple truth.
    And they are not drilling an oil well. They are digging a trench for a pipe line.
    I am sure they can avoid any real burial sites which are normally small and tightly contained.

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  8. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    agree totally EverlastingFire – fuck em – this mumbo jumbo will go on forever if people dont just start ignoring it.

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  9. Yeti (64 comments) says:

    I suspect someone didn’t pay someone else off – they’re just after a payout. What a great scam, whenever someone wants to develop some land they can just say oh whoops, we forgot to declare that we’ll need compensation regardless.

    It’s disgusting, no wonder people get sick and tired of all this Taniwha dribble.

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  10. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Always there is more theatre than facts with these kinds of news stories. “Maori protesters are blocking…”

    What and how big is the Pa site? Is it special, and if so, why?

    What is the work that is going to be done, exactly?

    Is an irreplaceable historic site about to be destroyed? (A pa site has significance to the history of the whole country, not just the local Iwi… )

    Is a photo of the tino rangatiratanga flag and some people with their hands in their pockets really the most informative picture the newspaper could come up with to illustrate their story?

    I agree we can’t have all development work and progress in general being held up seemingly at the whim of whatever interest groups decide to object to it.

    On the other hand, an oversight in due process hardly seem like a good enough reason for an irreplacable historic site to be destroyed. But from that article I have no idea whether or not that is what is happening. It is a pity that journalistic investigation seems to stop once a sensational headline has been generated…

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  11. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    barry – heard of Bastion Point?

    Ignoring “all of that mumbo-jumbo” would be a great way to start a civil war :-D

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  12. peterquixote (231 comments) says:

    sweet jesus, I love you and hold you sacred,
    on behalf of God we Christians own all the land,
    fuck Maori I am sick of fucking maori claptrap

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  13. jacob van hartog (300 comments) says:

    Drilling doesnt have to happen ‘ directly overhead’ any more. They can move down the road, or the other side of the paddock and do there drilling from there.
    problem solved.

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  14. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Good evening Ratbiter – interesting comment you make – the important minor little detail about bastion pont is that the local iwi had made the importance of it well known for some time.

    At this drill site the local iwi had been asked to list points of importance – which they had not made any comment about. Then bingo – the oil company wants to drill and – Zappow – a newly found pa site is suddenly discovered. How (finacially) convenient is that !!

    As a well known maori comentator once said “there is no one so cunning as a maori when it comes to extracting money, and there is no one so dumb as a maori when it comes to getting rid of the money”

    Its not just mumbo jumbo – its cultural blackmail.
    They were asked to list everything that was simportant so why didnt they. They cant go blaming the oil company. They might have a bitch with the district council, but they need to come into the real world.
    Personally i think they are too stupid to understand the real world – but thats their problem.

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  15. Dave001 (98 comments) says:

    I heard that the Iwi owns the land, I dont know if thats correct, but if they do they should get to decide where the oil company drills.

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  16. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    It was ‘left off the list’ because maori didn’t think it was valuable enough to put on the list.

    I can just feel for local iwi – They stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, so dedicated to protect and leave undisturbed their sacred grounds. They protest for days, weeks even, and then finally they shout that ancient maori compromise, known so well to whitey taxpayer;
    “SHOW ME THE MONEY”

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  17. fredinthegrass (273 comments) says:

    The issue is simple – the Iwi/Hapu screwed up.
    After years of commie kowtowing we are now being screwed.
    Why haven’t they been removed?
    Where is the law enforcement?
    Pita Sharples, show some leadership.

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  18. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I sort of feel sorry for the Maori but they are in a much stronger position then many private land owners. I have had several exploratory wells drilled on the farm over the years and there was stuff all consultation. A company representative shows up about a month before any exploration and informs the land owner that they will be drilling in a few weeks. Doesn’t matter if you are not to keen on the idea, you have no choice, the government issues the exploration licences and tough if you don’t like it. Usually pays to be nice to the oil hunters, if you don’t rock the boat there can be “benefits”. But having said that isn’t it nice to live in a socialist country where property right are sacrosanct. I side with the local Iwi on this one.

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  19. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    It seems that one question and one question only needs be asked of these opportunistic vultures: ‘How much do you want to let the pipeline go through’?

    If some journalist was to get off his butt and ask this question, and continue to do this until he got the actual amount, then that would expose the hypocrisy and rampant greed that is at the basis of this latest ‘culturally-sensitive’ demand.

    Sadly, pigs will fly backwards on surfboards before this will ever happen – of such is the Fourth Eastate now made.

    Oh that such was not the case. . .

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  20. wikiriwhis business (4,019 comments) says:

    “I heard that the Iwi owns the land, I dont know if thats correct, but if they do they should get to decide where the oil company drills.”

    Did you see this coment dorectly above yours….

    “They were asked to list everything that was important so why didnt they.”

    Why indeed. In fact they should have had to sign a declaration stating they had no grievance or complaint.

    Don’t these conglomerates have lawyers to enforce these things?

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  21. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    “Bloody Maori!” :P

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  22. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Do you have any idea how much damage this giant earth mover would suffer if I let it roll right over you?

    They did everything thing right and as required. The local Maori couldn’t be arsed listing the place but now want “special” consideration?

    Nup, drill.

    And hands up all those who will be shocked if it turns out their concern for the site can be dealt with by the transfer of large sums of money.

    We’ve also managed to ping the matter of why so many of were against National getting cozy with a race based party, their interest is not New Zealand, just a racialy selected element within it. Didn’t they try that in South Africa a while back?

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  23. Billoby (1 comment) says:

    David
    I think you’re wrong on the first part of this mainly because once an historical site (be it of spiritual, military or cultural importance) is damaged, it is damaged forever. Better to go in all guns blazing, so to speak, and put a stop to the earthworks and then sort it out in the courts to see if it is a valid claim.
    ‘Frinstance, anybody driving along State Highway 1 through Rangiri is driving through the heart of one of New Zealand’s most important battle sites from the Land Wars. It is a disgrace. There’s no way the Yanks would allow such damage to be done to a site such as Antietam or Gettysburg.
    And it is time some commenters get over their in-built negativism to things Maori and realise that Maori culture is New Zealand culture. It is Ours.

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  24. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    Billoboy

    ‘And it is time some commenters get over their in-built negativism to things Maori and realise that Maori culture is New Zealand culture. It is Ours.’

    ‘Fraid not old chap – Maori Culture is very definitely not ‘Ours’ – if by ‘Our’s you mean it belongs to the rest of New Zealand.

    It is only ‘Ours’ when Maori decide that that is the case, and bitter and expensive national experience strongly suggests that this will only be for as long as Maori are getting what THEY want – or until they are told that they are missing-out on something (even if this latter may in fact be totally bogus).

    At that point, when Maori (of whatever shade – remembering that there are now no ‘real’ ones living) decide they are being ‘disadvantaged’ (even if it is a lie and they are actually getting MORE than anyone else) suddenly remember that they are the poor and the down-trodden and the cycle starts once again – aided and abetted it should be noted by such well-known personalities as messers Minto, Locke and their fellow-travellers.

    Sadly, Maori are nothing if not gulliable and are always ready to believe that they are worse off than absolutely everyone else (despite verifiable evidence to the contrary) – a fact that their leaders are always ready to exploit for their own personal gain (witness the Hioniwera ‘support’ for his nephews), and until one of their own finally strands up and says enough is enough, nothing will change.

    Regrettably, this is not going to happen anytime soon, more’s the pity and one can only live in hope. . .

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  25. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Ignoring “all of that mumbo-jumbo” would be a great way to start a civil war

    And there would be plenty of Maori on the side opposing mumbo-jumbism.

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  26. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    I’m with billy, we kicked some ass at Rangiriri, rebuild the earthworks and remind Maori what happens when they push their luck too far.

    Belich can rewite it can claim victory for them later but it wont change the reality.

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  27. wikiriwhis business (4,019 comments) says:

    “Fraid not old chap – Maori Culture is very definitely not ‘Ours’ – if by ‘Our’s you mean it belongs to the rest of New Zealand. ”

    Maori culture is Maori’s culture

    Maori just want to be Maori.

    I said there should have been a statement for them to sign after giving approval for the project to go ahead saying discussions have come to agreement. Discussions might take a while, but once signed, no protesting.

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