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Hauraki Gulf Forum 

Paul Majurey has hit right back at Brian Rudman in today's Herald over the Spatial Plan Committee, and he gives as good as he takes. While Rudman took offence at what he claimed was a "takeover", he failed to acknowledge the domination of the Forum by local government interests over many years of failure to come to grips with the real environmental problems facing the Gulf. Of course, he (and Christine Fletcher) have little concept of the fruitless and countless Forum meetings chaired by Hauraki Mayor John Tregidga, and see only a power grab by mana whenua rather than abject failure.

It is interesting to note Paul Majury deploring Rudman's attempts to personalise his (Majurey's) role - I have noted recently several similar reactions to any attempt to reduce so-called collective action on the part of iwi to a particular individual. I know that David Taipari bristles when I mention his name in regard to any story that may concern him, and I understand the reluctance, but unfortunately, that is the way the public perceive it - someone is generally in a leadership role in these matters, and the public want to know who it is. It is of course a cultural thing, and I am not about abdicate if I am telling the story as a pakeha, to a mainly pakeha audience, and that's the truth of it.

Actually, I thought that Rudman got it wrong anyway in identifying Majury - I am pretty sure that David Taipari is the more significant of the two when it comes to important issues like this. Paul is the chair of the Hauraki Collective, and is carrying the legal load for the settlement on behalf of the 12 iwi, but David is the front man, and is the member of the Hauraki Gulf Forum. He is the one who have been presenting the argument for the Spatial Plan Committee, which is clearly the way the iwi see to get their collective voice heard, and to exercise what they consider to be their legitimate kaitiaki over the Gulf. If would indeed be surprising if they did not seek equal membership with non-iwi on the committee that apparently will have the responsibility for producing the plan that will at last provide a framework for stopping and reversing current degradation. Local government has acted as hand-maiden to agricultural and fishing interests for far too long, and dragged the chain at every attempt to stop the rot.

It is time to let the committee get on with the job, though just how successful it will be in the face of current government intransigence is yet to be seen. 



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