The Craggy Range walking track saga continues on as some Ngāti Kahungunu iwi members took their cause to the steps of the Hastings District Council today to have the controversial track removed from Te Mata o Rongokako.
"Craggy Range has sort of said 'here's a track, we've already done it, come and enjoy it' but who enjoys it? All the tauiwi [non-Māori] that don't recognise or understand the tikanga and the wāhi tapu that they are takahi on," says demonstrator Kellie Jessup-Barlett-Mohi.
The council has created a working group of independent advisors to gather information including cultural, recreational and technical over the next few months.
"We're committed to bringing our community together to move on a way forward and we're working with all parties and stakeholders in our wider community to ensure that everyone has their views and everyone will be heard," says Sandra Hazlehurst, Hastings Mayor.
The iwi is aggrieved because the application was non-notified so was never consulted on when it got the go-ahead from the Hastings District Council.
"It's about ensuring that the council gets the processes right around the land and talking to mana whenua and especially with the consenting process as we don't ever want this to happen again with the council," says Bayden Barber, Hastings councillor.
A hui-a-iwi has been organised for this Saturday at Waimarama Marae as an opportunity to continue discussions around moving forward with the issue.