INDEPENDENT NEWS

Minutes of a Hui held at Hukanui Marae

Published: Thu 27 Jul 2000 04:22 PM
Minutes of a Hui held at Hukanui Marae, Gordonton, Saturday May 13 2000.
Purpose of Hui
Ngati Wairere called the Hui in order for ERMA and the applicant AgResearch, as required by Section 6 and 8d HSNO Act 1996, to meet with its people to discuss the: Role and functions of ERMA, and the AgResearch application GMF 98009
Invitations were extended to representatives of all the groups involved in the process to date.
Apologies
Apologies were received from a number of local people. Due to other commitments, alternative-view scientists were unable to attend.
The Hui Agenda
The Hui agenda included presentations from:
Members of Ngati Wairere Te Kotuku Whenua, mandated environmental agency of Ngati Wairere presented their evaluations Nga Mana Toopu, Kirikiriroa ERMA and Nga Kaihautu [Baz Walker & John Hohapata-Oke] AgResearch applicant and Auckland School of Medicine visitor An ethno-biologist, and
Hui Content
Ngati Wairere asked questions and debated points following each block of presentations. In particular emphasis was placed on the following concerns:
Ngati Wairere remains very concerned that ERMA continues to seek Maori provide proof of spiritual and metaphysical phenomena. The request is demeaning and causes great cultural affront. Ngati Wairere's response to ERMA to 'ameliorate' the risks is that it [inserting human genes into cattle] cannot be done and should not be done or considered. Ngati Wairere has expressed and will continue to express their abhorrence to the crossing of species and interfering with the genetic make-up of humans and animals. Ngati Wairere reiterate the manipulation of human gene is unnatural as it interferes with the basic relationship between generations and specie which are central to all aspects of Maori spiritual, metaphysical customs and values and is inconsistent with Maori whakapapa. Ngati Wairere asks why the onus is being unduly placed upon them to provide proof of how their cultural and spiritual mauri will be at risk. Ngati Wairere stress their response is from Ngati Wairere alone. They refuse to carry the burden for future applications, especially as tikanga Maori is affected Ngati Wairere asserts it is not the place of ERMA to develop genetic issues for Maori tikanga. Ngati Wairere exert rangatiratanga under the Treaty and object to ERMA auditing their responses. Ngati Wairere are experiencing disquiet that their spiritual values are being excluded and diminished by ERMA practices. Ngati Wairere raised again the failure of AgResearch to provide a health risk assessment of its unproven experiment and its failure to provide written approval of the use of foreign genes Ngati Wairere challenges AgResearch which todate has not provided an assessment of the potential adverse effects throughout the life cycle of this experiment. Ngati Wairere remains concerned that the risks to Maori and to non-Maori remain unknown and that the experiment is being funded by tax-payers money. Ngati Wairere worry that AgResearch continues to receive research funding when funding and adequate resources are not being provided them as Kaitiaki to carry out their role to protect their spiritual and physical environment Ngati Wairere alerts ERMA to Chilwell Js decision in Huakina Development Trust v Waikato Valley Authority [1987] 2 NZLR:
"Maori spiritual and cultural values cannot be excluded from consideration if the evidence established such links to a particular and significant group of Maori. Nor should the benefit of all New Zealanders be given a degree of absolute emphasis so as to exclude Maori spiritual values from a branch of law, which has an affinity with the Treaty. The way the Waitangi Tribunal dealt with the concept of Maori spiritual values established that such values could not be dismissed as being something the community could trample on".
Open Forum
In an Open Forum in order to consolidate their views the following resolutions were agreed by the Hui:
Resolutions 1. That Ngati Wairere will continue to provide advice to ERMA and AgResearch until Ngati Wairere have come to a collective decision. 2. That AgResearch will be asked to voluntarily enter a moratorium until such time as the Royal Commission's Genetic Engineering findings are published: If AgResearch agree to voluntarily enter a moratorium then Ngati Wairere will discuss the development of a formal contractual relationship, and As part of that proposed formal contractual relationship a Heads of Agreement between Ngati Wairere and AgResearch will be entered into to enable a risk assessment of the experiment to be undertaken. If AgResearch declines to voluntarily enter a moratorium then Ngati Wairere will reassess its position.
3. That Ngati Wairere will call a Hui to debate the merits of alternative science. 4. That the Hui reaffirmed the mandate for Te Kotuku Whenua Consultancy to continue its important work. 5. Ngati Wairere will respond to ERMA and AgResearch following the outcomes of the alternative Hui and hearing of AgResearchs¹ decision.
Kua Mutu.
Minute Recorder: Ms D C WEBSTER PO Box 10804 WELLINGTON
Naaku Na -- Ms D CHRIS WEBSTER PO Box 10804 WELLINGTON
EMAIL: dcwebster@xtra.co.nz Ngati Whawhakia, Ngati Mahanga, Ngati Te Weehi, Waikato-Maniopoto, Tainui ----- Kia whawhai tonu matou - ake, ake, ake!
Naaku Na -- Ms D CHRIS WEBSTER PO Box 10804 WELLINGTON
EMAIL: dcwebster@xtra.co.nz Ngati Whawhakia, Ngati Mahanga, Ngati Te Weehi, Waikato-Maniopoto, Tainui ----- Kia whawhai tonu matou - ake, ake, ake!

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