INDEPENDENT NEWS

Ngati Rangi Supports Ngawha Correction Facility

Published: Fri 20 Apr 2001 11:22 AM
Ngati Rangi Hapu Development Committee
20 April 2001
Ngati Rangi strongly supports the need for the Regional Correction Facility at Ngawha. This was unanimously reaffirmed at a recent meeting by all entities.
We are offended that the Northland Regional Council could refuse the facility on social and cultural grounds when we clearly have the mana whenua and kaitiaki status on this land and its water.
Ngati Rangi has traditional rights over this land. In addition, our kaumatua Bishop Ben Te Haara is the eldest living grandson of Heta Te Haara who held individual title on the land. He, and others, affirm that there is no tapu; and that food and milk has been produced off this land for many, many decades and consumed by all.
The council may also have misread the noise and fury of the opponents. Some are opposed to any type of prison anywhere; others are pushing sites of their own.
Ngati Rangi has no financial interest in this land. But we certainly expect to benefit – as will everyone in the wider community from the creation of stable long term jobx and the boost from the on-going supply of goods and services to the prison. This will bring Kaikohe an estimated $10 million per year.
The real wealth however, will come from the changed attitudes and behaviour of the people inside, supported by being close to their whanau here in the north.
The Memorandum of Partnership between the Crown and Ngati Rangi ensures we will help shape the programmes and management of this facility. We will continue to invite other hapu of the North to play a full part in these healing processes, according to their own kawa. Together we can build a safer environment for everyone, inside and outside the facility.
The Council may have also misread the relative quiet of support for this facility.
In tikanga Maori the kaitiaki take the lead and make the statements. We have explained our vision and determination for this facility on practically all marae of the North and found tremendous support. We also find huge support amongst the wider community as we all work together to reduce reoffending for the benefit of us all.
Ends
Mac Anania
Chairman, Ngati Rangi Hapu Development Committee

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