To revive the life essence of Taumārere River. That's the objection of Ngāti Manu about the decision to approve resource consent to expand the Ōpua Marina.
Today they marched to deliver their proclamation to the Government and Local Government before taking the matter to the Environment Court.
Otuihu is the pā from which Chief Pomare looked down over Taumarere. Today his descendants are in protest at the environmental degradation affecting their sacred river.
Arapeta Hamilton says, “We're saying to this company that we are the kaitiaki of this section of the river and not our inland cousins. We are the kaitiaki of this place.”
Ngāti Manu are angered at a cultural impact assessment report prepared by the Ngātihine Environmental arm on the matter.
“We've been named in the report but we do not endorse it and thats whats really has us fuming over this matter,” says Arapeta Hamilton.
“If it’s not right then let’s review it and if that the case correct it because our focus is on the protection of our river,” says Pita Tipene.
A pou was erected by Sir James Henare in 1989 and he subsequently file the WAI 49 claim to stop Pakeha from building structures like the first stage of the Opua marina.
Today the chief executive of Far North Holdings Limited received the Ngāti Manu proclamation.
Pita Tipene says, “The councils is not in charge of this river but it’s the respective hapū of this district. That’s the essence of the claim and Ngāti Hine and other hapū continue to maintain that stance.”
Arapeta Hamilton says, “We want the life essence of our river returned and that was our chant today. What do we want? A healthy river. That’s what the people want.”
This week Ngāti Manu file an appeal with the Environment Court.