The Te Urewera injunction

The High Court granted an injunction to stop the demolition of huts in Te Urewera. The applicant is himself a member of Tuhoe, whose family have lived there for generations and he has use the huts for recreation and food gathering since he was a child.

Some key points that came out of the injunction hearing were:

  • Some of the huts are used for biodiversity work including trapping predators and monitoring rare species. This work will suffer without the huts.
  • The motivation for the governance board is not to have new huts or safer huts, but to emove all “DOC infrastructure” from Te Urewera
  • There was no consultation with hapu before deciding this
  • Around 20 huts were already burnt down before the injunction was granted
  • No annual operational plan for Te Urerewa had been approved, which the law says is mandatory for removal of any Crown assets
  • The Nga Tapuwae O Taneatua Tramping Club says the huts play a vital role in providing an essential contingency for travel if things go wrong due to weather, illness, or injury

As I blogged previously, the sensible thing to do is build new huts first, then demolish the old ones. But it appears the motivating force is simply to get rid of any huts that being to DOC, regardless of the impact on those who rely on them.

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