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District Plan - Iwi Consultation

Readers will be aware of my having drawn attention to the utterly ridiculous notion of carrying on consultation with Iwi on this subject on marae throughout the District. This was the course of action adopted at the meeting on 26 October to placate the 'red-neck' element around the table, and followed the  rejection of the District Plan Review Committee recommendation that a service level agreement process be followed.

The meeting on 12 December is now being asked to back down from this fanciful concept, following discussions with representatives of the eight District iwi that constitute the Hauraki Collective for the purposes of Treaty negotiations on 21 November, it is now proposed to enter service level agreements (by any other name!) with each of the eight, and allocate $20,000 ($2,500 each) for the purpose of progressing those discussions.

This a typical David Taipari solution - no pay, no talks, and is embarrassing (for Council) to say the least. The red-necks (and conflicted!) will now have to accept the solution offered if they are to avoid the distinct possibility of the entire Plan being appealed to the Environment/High Court on the grounds of inadequate consultation - a requirement of the Act. They would have lost in that venue, and had mud all over their faces as the Plan would have been delayed for at least twelve months - beyond the election!

This is exactly how I predicted the matter would resolve. Some of the people on our Council just cannot accept that the climate has changed with the impending Settlement, and there is a great deal more backing-down to be done before this term is completed.

As for the iwi - they have made their point, and will do alright out of it. I don't expect that there will be a great deal of change demanded, excepting from one or two (Ngati Maru included) that will demand a far greater demonstration of good faith, and recognition of Tangata Whenua grievances, claims and prerogatives. Expect Paul Majurey, and David Taipari to take a lead in laying down exactly what is acceptable in this regard before they are prepared to sign off on the final document.

The following extract from my 29 May post on the subject will give some idea as to what is at stake here:

The result of that Sub-committee's deliberations were reported back to the full Committee today. It appears that all it did was engage solicitors Atkins Holm Majurey to undertake a “review of the Working Draft provisions of the reviewed Plan”. It just so happens that this firm of solicitors, and Mr Paul Majurey in particular act as legal advisers to the Hauraki Collective who are in the final stages of completing their Treaty Settlement with the Crown.

The eight page ‘opinion’, and 20 pages of appendixes, dated 14 May 2012, that purports to be the Review of the Working Draft" was tabled apparently with the intention of stimulating some debate. It is in fact a heavily biased document which presents the entire panoply of Tangata Whenua history, grievances, claims and prerogatives in such a way as to frighten the pants off any red-blooded redneck, of which there are plenty in this District. But it is a negotiating instrument, and no more than could have been expected given the wide mandate provided to the ‘sub-committee.’ It is not in any way a “review” of the document that currently constitutes the ‘Working Draft’, and it therefore should have no status other than that of a ‘negotiating’ instument, as yet un-endorsed, but likely to be so by Tangata Whenua as a first step in arriving at an agreement.

David again took control in the absence of any real leadership by Chair Peter French, and Members Hoadley and Henry rushed to endorse his suggestion that the same ‘sub-committee’ summarise the document into a submission that following further “work-shopping” could be taken to a Hui of the relevant Iwi for ‘consultation’. Then and only then, it should be reported back to the full Committee for incorporation in whichever way was thought best into the final draft document that is planned to go to public consultation in October. There appeared no doubt that David considered that there should be as little deviation as possible from the Majurey document.

The 'opinion' appeared to die a (premature?) death in the Committee, but DavidTaipari is now renowned for his 'softlee, softlee, catchee monkee' approach in these matters, and patience is the keyword. He more than anyone else on the Committe understands the importance of the 'endgame', and that at this point, he and his colleagues hold the whip hand. Beware of any attempt to fudge this issue - it has the potential to sink the Draft Plan - make no mistake! And District Plan Manager Leigh Robke understands this better than anyone.

I will be interested to watch Jack Wells and others squirm when this comes up on Wednesday.




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