Maori Party Disgusted at Government’s Failure to Consult Mana Whenua over Stadium
Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, Maori Party;
Member of Parliament for Tamaki Makaurau
Friday 10 November 2006
The Maori Party today expressed disgust that the proposed new national stadium on the waterfront will be announced without, it appears, even a courtesy call to mana whenua, Ngati Whatua ki Orakei.
“I understand that the Sports Minister Trevor Mallard will be announcing the result from a high rise over the waterfront” said Dr Sharples.
“Meanwhile, on the ground, the word is that tangata whenua have been snubbed, once more”.
“This is absolutely typical of a ‘consult when it suits’ Government, who turn to Maori when they want to, and yet when it comes to a matter of what could exceed $1 billion worth of significance, they conveniently forget the Agreement in Principle they have with Ngati Whatua” said Dr Sharples.
Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board signed an Agreement in Principle with the Crown to settle all their outstanding historical Treaty of Waitangi claims in June 2006.
“I have it on very good authority, that in the last three years, the Government, nor any of its representatives, have not ever fronted up to the Board about an issue of such importance as this” said Dr Sharples.
“I have been told this morning, that nothing has formally reached the Board’s table to even begin the conversation about a major project occurring in the rohe of Ngati Whatua ki Orakei” said Dr Sharples.
“In ignoring mana whenua, the Government has violated the understanding that Ngati Whatua had in entering into the Agreement in Principle”.
“It may be the case that individual members of Ngati Whatua have been approached for an opinion” said Dr Sharples. "That is a typical 'divide-and-rule' strategy which we have seen used before. But failure to respect the authority and the mandate of the Trust Board through formal consultation, will not be forgotten by the people”.