22 July. Cr Greg Sayers says the Hikoi (a protest march) was about saving the Kaipara Harbour from a major landfill. Local iwi say it is in the wrong place and they can help Auckland Council find a better solution – iwi wanted their voice heard and therefore the reason for a protest down Queen Street to raise public awareness.
This isn’t about “not in my backyard”, it’s about the landfill being located at the wrong site on risky ground and there are better geographical locations.
Mahurangi Matters newspaper report: “Community leaders and kaumatua are calling for Auckland Council to halt the resource consent process for the proposed landfill in the Dome Valley.
Kaumatua Mikaera Miru says that if Waste Management is granted resource consent for the landfill, his hapu will occupy the land to prevent its construction.
“There will be no landfill,” Mikaera says.
He was addressing hundreds of protestors from community groups and iwi, who were taking part in a hikoi in downtown Auckland last Friday (July 17).
“It’s people who hold the Council to account. That’s what we are doing today.”
He and Ngati Whatua’s Dame Naida Glavish emphasised that a rahui had been placed on the Hoteo River.
They said the rahui was legally binding according to the Resource Management Act.
Ngati Manuhiri acting chief executive Nicola McDonald said that iwi were calling for a halt to the resource consent application process.
“The overwhelming feeling of the community and mana whenua is that it shouldn’t happen,” she said.
“Let’s not waste ratepayers’ money on independent committees, especially in light of the recent rates increase. Aucklanders are saying ‘no’.”
Kaumatua Ben Hita travelled from the Waikaretu Marae at Pouto Point to join in the protest.
“Anything to do with the Kaipara, I have to be there. I am probably the oldest resident on the Kaipara,” he said.
Mr Hita was part of a campaign that successfully stopped the construction of energy turbines at the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour by bringing a petition to Wellington in 2012.
“I hope we don’t have to take the landfill protest that far, but we are prepared to.
“From my people’s perspective on the Kaipara, if they don’t stop, neither will we.”
Auckland deputy mayor Bill Cashmore was met with jeers when he told protestors that the landfill consent application was a legal, not political, process.
He said the petition would be ‘a key’ consideration of the independent commissioners and assured protestors their voice had been heard.”