Topic: Environment

Tokaanu locals want compensation for flooding of traditional lands

By Mere McLean

A collective of Māori families living in the Tokaanu area say that the use of their traditional lands has been lost due to flooding and to make it even worst they face the possibility of those lands being taken away permanently.

At the base of the majestic Ruapehu and Tongariro bitterness is brewing near Tokaanu.

Michael Pauriini says, “We were not told to leave but because of these lands flooding we were unable to grow anything.”

These lands were once fertile and liveable by Māori in Tokaanu.  However with the introduction of the Tokaanu power station in 1973 the water level of the lake has turned this area into swamp and wetlands. 

David Livingstone, a nephew to Michael Pauriini says that they deserve an easement payment by the power company which established the Tokaanu Power Station and he says that goes back to the government.

Genesis Energy is now the current owners of the Tokaanu Power Station and they say they are currently working through this issue, however the land owners say the only fitting compensation is to return their lands.