Te Rūnanga o Raukawa has written to KiwiRail today asking that it re-engage Ngāti Kauwhata over the rail and road
freight centre it hopes to build between Palmerston North and Bunnythorpe.
Te Rūnanga o Raukawa represents 25 hapū and iwi, including Aorangi Marae and Kauwhata Marae.
"We fully support our Aorangi and Kauwhata whanaunga. Our people are tired of being played off against each other
whether the intent was there or through negligence," said elected Chair Kelly Bevan.
"This project will be the largest infrastructure project in Manawatū for generations. It is on land with complex layers
of iwi history, and the outcome must provide for Māori values in a mana enhancing way. We have a long history of working
together as multiple iwi bodies across infrastructure projects and the provision of social services. At the core of what
we do is connectivity and inclusiveness," she said. “KiwiRail would do well to have these values front and foremost when
they are ready to come back to the table."
Te Rūnanga o Raukawa Chief Executive Officer Lindsay Poutama said there are many examples of best practice when it comes
to engaging multiple iwi. “Locally, there is Te Ahu a Turanga the project to replace the Gorge Road. Another is the Te
Tihi Whanauora Alliance which has nine
iwi, hapū and Māori organisations working together - and there are many other examples from around Aotearoa."
"All iwi deserve respect, and until KiwiRail comes back with an inclusive pathway forward, then Raukawa will not
progress the Cultural Impact Assessment."