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Ed Sheeran

Walking Access Commission whips up racist row

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A Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa kaumātua has taken aim at the Walkways Access Commission over its handling of a dispute about tracks over a farm near Cape Palliser.

The High Court has ordered Kawakawa Station's owner, Hong-Kong based Eric Chun Yu Won, to settle their access row before he can sell the farm.

Sir Kim Workman says Mr Wong is selling in part because of the racist backlash whipped up by the way the commission publicised the dispute.

He says the commission also failed to consult with tangata whenua, despite the proposed walkway along the Otakaha Stream crossing a large defensive pā, several agricultural and village features, and burial sites.

The wetlands in the area are ecologically significant, and are part of an agreement with Greater Wellington Regional Council under the Key Native Ecosystem programme.

Sir Kim says the latest publicity has the potential to unleash another round of racism and hatred which will disrupt the peace of the community and set neighbour against neighbour.


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