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Ed Sheeran

Waitara hapu air Pekapeka grievance
Inside Te Ikaroa a Maui, Owae Marae as haukainga await the Maori Affairs Select Committee hearings for the NPDC (Waitara) Land Bill

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While the Taranaki District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill will allow the council to return some of its land to Te Atiawa, the bigger beneficiary will be the council which can sell off its leases and get rid of a century old historical headache.

Te Atiawa’s post-settlement organisation made a submission last year opposing the bill, and today was dominated by iwi members still living on the land who object to a solution that did not recognise Te Atiawa’s desire for collective ownership of what was left of the Pekapepeka Block.

Only one of the 14 submitters in the morning session, a Pakeha lessee, spoke in favour of the bill, while other Pakeha lessees supported the iwi position.

Academic Veronica Tawhai, whose husband hails from Waitara hapu Manukorihi, said the grievances and the demand for justice are being lost as hapu and iwi are being urged to move forward.

The New Plymouth council and the Taranaki Regional Council were criticised heavily in the submissions.

Live streaming of the hearings is available on the Waatea Facebook page.

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