Ngati Manuhiri enters fight on landfill

Ngati Manuhiri chairman Mook Hohneck. Richard Nahi lead the hui. Kaumatua Mikeara Miru.

After keeping his cards close to his chest for months, Ngati Manuhiri Settlement Trust chairman Mook Hohneck told a gathering in Wellsford last week that his iwi will oppose the proposed landfill in the Dome Valley.

 “I want to make it clear that Ngati Manuhiri completely oppose the tip. There’s no mitigation – it’s just in the wrong location.”

He explained that Ngati Manuhiri had not disclosed its position on the landfill until now “in order to keep its powder dry”, while it quietly collected ecology and hydrology reports.

“We can all have this hui, but the fight has to be taken to the boardroom. Our role is to lead with lawyers and cut the snake’s head off at the source,” he said.

“We are not going to stand for it because you shouldn’t compromise on what you can’t get back. Don’t think that we are running off on a tangent.”

Mr Hohneck made his remarks during a hui held in the Wellsford Community Centre on June 23. The hui brought together representatives from tribes who had previously disagreed on their respective responses to the landfill.

In July last year, representatives of Ngati Rongo and Ngati Whatua placed an aukati rahui (ritual prohibition) on the Hoteo River, which was not sanctioned by Ngati Manuhiri.

Kaumatua Richard Nahi, of Ngati Whatua, said the rahui was placed under extenuating circumstances.

“We knew it may jeopardise the relationship [with Ngati Manuhiri], but it was to send a strong message to those who would hurt papatuanuku (the earth),” he said.

“We have had internal differences – ka pai. But, we come together when something really matters.”
Kaipara kaumatua Mikaera Miru, who led the rahui in July last year, said it was legitimate.

“I have been on the marae and worked in resource management for the last 30 years. That’s where my mana comes from.”

He criticised the government for not enforcing the Resource Management Act, which he believed made the rahui legally binding.

“I call them the clowns at the Crown. They are still using legislation as a foot on the throats of Maori after 180 years.”

Mikaera also called on Northland Regional Council’s resource management team to be sacked for not making a submission on the landfill.

“They have failed in their responsibility to manage water resources, despite receiving millions of dollars in funding.”

“Nobody told the fish they are on the wrong side of the Auckland-Northland line.”

He said he did not trust the Auckland Council’s hearing process and had no faith it would produce a positive outcome.

“This is why we placed a rahui. We have to fight the might of the state.”

Michelle Carmichael, of Fight the Tip, Save the Dome, told the packed meeting that the group would hold a hikoi march to the steps of Auckland Council in the CBD with a tentative date set for July 17.

“We are going down to Auckland to stand up and express that enough is enough,” she said.

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