A group has blocked entry to contractors working on the Te Hiku Sports Hub in Kaitaia. They claim hapū and mana whenua weren't consulted in the process.
Wikatana Popata says the group will not be allowing access to contractors working on the facility. He says local hapū support the concept of the sports hub but do not agree with the consultation process surrounding the project.
In a live stream to his Facebook page Popata said, “If they want to avoid mass arrests, just by something simple like meeting with us, consulting with us.”
He went on to say, “I heard they’ve been consulting with Ngai Takoto, Te Rārawa, its not my job to go out there and tell them who we are. They need to come to us and come and find out who are the hapū who are the hapū who are the mana whenua here and they know it.”
According to the Far North District Council, the project has enjoyed huge community support from groups including Sport Northland, health practitioners, schools, police and local iwi.
The council says the project was a response to a strong call from the Kaitaia community and the consultation was very broad.
It says its 2015-2025 Long Term Plan consultation process attracted 2210 submissions of which 97 per cent (2138) supported the Sports Hub project. This was a record level of support for such an initiative.
These consultations involved a wide range of community members with an interest in the project site, local marae (including Oturu Marae) and also required an archaeological report on the site.