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Ed Sheeran

Orakei hapu backs end to taniwha tax

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Ngati Whatua Orakei is welcoming the Auckland Council’s decision to take cultural impact assessments out of the Unitary Plan.

The assessments, which would have applied to developments near more than 2000 sites scattered across the super city, had been dubbed the taniwha tax by opponents.

The Independent Hearings Panel rejected them as a protection mechanism, and despite a last minute defence by council officials, the full council this week endorsed the panel’s recommendation.

Ngati Whatua spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says there needs to be more research to define the location of sites and their value to Iwi today.

The hapu was also concerned up to 15 tribes could demand an assessment be commissioned, causing costs and delays to projects and also breaching tikanga.

Mr Blair says some iwi have already over-reached their boundaries, such as when Ngati Whatua Orakei had to consult seven other iwi when building papakainga houses on its own land in Orakei.

He says the botched process gave groups who are against supporting Maori heritage the opportunity to push their negative agenda.

Ngati Whatua wants to work with Auckland Council to develop a better process.

Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd:

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