Koha and apartheid discussed at MP meeting

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller met with new residents of Omokoroa on Monday morning to introduce himself, but found the meeting focused predominantly on the issue of Maori consultation within the RMA. File photo.

Maori influence over aspects of the Resource Management Act and other local government issues were among the concerns expressed by Western Bay of Plenty residents at a public meeting with Todd Muller on Monday morning.

The Bay of Plenty MP hosted a meeting with new residents of Omokoroa at the Omokoroa Community Church, and found himself involved in a lively discussion about the need to consult with iwi and hapu on various matters.

People from as far afield as Katikati came to voice their concerns to the National MP, perhaps hoping he would report back to the party leadership.

Among them was Christina Humphreys, who was active in the campaign against Maori wards. Like others present, she’s concerned in particular with the need to consult with local hapu/iwi when installing a water bore on your own property.

“A huge issue for this country is apartheid, to put it bluntly,” she says.

“To get a bore you have to get iwi consent, and they want a koha, which is not a gift, it’s a bribe.”

She asked what National would do to entice voters like herself and others back, who had abandoned the party over some of its recent policies, particularly the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011, which allowed iwi and hapu to apply for customary title if they could prove continuous occupation of a coastal area.

Bev Cain also expressed concerns that terms in the RMA were too loose, and that hard evidence is rarely required by councils when responding to concerns raised by Maori.

She cites the recent proposed ban on horse riding at Tuapiro Point as an instance of this, after local hapu Ngati Te Wai claimed riders were trampling kaimoana beds.

“Was a marine biologist consulted? You need to back these things up scientifically.”

She says there are a number of hapu in Katikati, and if they all required a koha to install a bore, it could become quite expensive.

Bay of Plenty regional councillor Norm Bruning, who also attended the meeting, provided a counterpoint, praising his council for having racially-segregated constituencies.

“Most Maori just want to be heard,” he says. “They may qualify for areas of interest, and need to be represented.”

Although this was not exactly the purpose of the meeting, Todd patiently listened to the people’s concerns, before offering his own perspective.

“The RMA was introduced more than 25 years ago as an attempt to bring about a broader set of values required to reflect on as we change our use of the environment over time.

“My personal view is that we have lost the original intent of the RMA, which was to give environmental impacts particular priority.”

He says it’s quite defendable to remind people that nothing is done in isolation, and that we are all part of a connected ecosystem.

“The historical idea that you could do whatever you wanted with your piece of dirt has changed. If it has an effect on someone else, there is a process to fllow.”

He agrees, however, that bureaucracy means the processes that need to be followed can pile up – and that sometimes it can mean going the notified route is faster than non-notified.

In regards to Maori, Todd says the impacts of history must be dealt with today.

“Our history is cloaked in the Treaty of Waitangi not being upheld across the country. It has caused material hardship for people over generations, for those who had their land confiscated.

“It is not good for the country to have these outstanding claims, and New Zealand in 2018 has to have Maori and Pakeha both at the table.”

The remainder of the meeting was concerned with other local issues, such as the notion of a new secondary school west of the Wairoa River, and a tunnel or other route connecting the Western Bay of Plenty with the Waikato.


7 Comments

@ Robin Bell

Posted on 15-06-2018 12:16 | By Told you

It doesn’t matter which way you twist it the asking for a Koha to dig a bore is extortion,backwards,sideways,or upside down.

Richard McNair, yet again you are

Posted on 14-06-2018 10:23 | By R. Bell

wrong. Koha is not a gift as you claim. It is a donation to offset costs. You may not like it, but any group affected by water usage has the right to object at your cost. Would you rather take these matters to court? in which case your Koha would be gobbled up by lawyers etc. Your claim of "corruption" is yet another example of your prejudice. Robin Bell.

@ Mike KvL

Posted on 13-06-2018 22:53 | By Captain Sensible

Well said and you are 100% correct. The rort under the nose of both governments is appalling.

Is the worm turning?

Posted on 13-06-2018 21:52 | By Mike Kuipers von Lande

Tribal Maori have committed appalling injustices against other New Zealand citizens over the last 40 years with the legalised theft and pillage of universal resources to their racist organisations. Todd Muller shows astonishing ignorance in his comments. Less than 5% of NZ was confiscated from Maori - mostly for atrocities committed against settlers and almost all of that was subsequently returned. There can never be peace in our country until all of the land, resources and money taken through the fraudulent auspices of the Waitangi Tribunal are returned by Maori along with compensation paid by them for these actions. And Todd - stop using that highly racist and offensive P word which should have no place in todays society.

Will it ever end,

Posted on 13-06-2018 19:13 | By Marshal

I think that as long as the powers that are really running this country.. Huh. Not the Government or the Councils. can keep everyone confused and living in the past, they have control over their want’s and greedy needs . Lets all start to live in this moment, the now. It will give us all control over our ego’s. And the ability to make, for a far greater future for all of the inhabitant’s of this great land.. New Zealand can be amazing for all of us, not just a few Ego driven tyrant’s obsessed with their own obscured tack on reality, we have all seen how that works from history.. Heehe. Well .!!

Koha = corruption not gift

Posted on 13-06-2018 17:13 | By Richard McNair

This idea that you should have to give a gift in order to put down a bore on your own property is simply another way of obtaining funds by corruption if money is given it should be recorded, signed for and claimed as a taxable expense and tax paid by the receiver and then the IRD would sort the matter out.

Blatant attacks on Maori rights,

Posted on 13-06-2018 16:57 | By R. Bell

have to stop if we are to progress. C. Humphreys is obsessed with Maori and obsessed with denying the crimes of the past. Thanks to Todd for explaining these faults to Christine, but sadly Todd you waste your time. Robin Bell.

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