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Ed Sheeran

Ngati Paoa in for the long haul at Pt England

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Ngati Paoa says it is prepared to listen to the community and modify its plans to develop a reserve at Point England.

The iwi held a public meeting last night to discuss its plans for the 29 hectares it intends to buy from the crown for the 300-home development.

While some residents expressed their hostility to the plan, spokesperson Morehu Wilson says there was a change of tone in the room once the iwi explained its historic connection to the area.

He says the tribe’s ancestor was known as Paoa taringa rahirahi, Paoa of the large ears, for his willingness to listen.

"As an iwi, we will not be like Fletchers or any other developer. We have a stake in the area. We have a marae that will be there forever. We have a genuine interest and for that we need to exercise our manaakitanga ki nga iwi katoa, to everyone," Mr Wilson says.

Ngati Paoa also has a duty of kaitiakitanga, and its plans include tackling the pollution in the Omaru Creek running alongside the reserve into the Tamaki River.

There will be another public meeting on Friday.

Copyright © 2017, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com

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