‘All in favour’ as the meeting voted for the rahui

Dawn ceremony for tip rahui

by Paul Campbell

The campaign to prevent the siting of a tip for Auckland rubbish across the Hoteo River catchment in Dome Valley, which threatens to pollute the Kaipara Harbour, will place a “political rahui” across the project at a dawn ceremony on Saturday, June 15.

The decision was taken at a public meeting and hui organised by the Fight the Tip campaign at a gathering in Wellsford Community Centre last Sunday.

The meeting was a continuation of the protest movement opposed to the Wastecare Management tip proposal on 1,000 hectares of land adjacent to the harbour, which includes a petition to parliament seeking a national ban on rubbish disposal sites near waterways.

Central to the landfill opposition is the risk of leachate from the site entering the Kaipara Harbour; seen as a threat to the snapper breeding ground, which sources west coast snapper stocks, as well as the marine environment as a whole.

“Approximately 170 members of Kaipara iwi and local community took part in the process to ensure all protocols were followed to enable this political rahui, this aukati can be placed on the landfill site under the relevant sections of the Resource Management Act,” said Fight the Tip member, Sue Crockett.

“There has been much background activity and discussion with Kaipara iwi and hapu over the last few months and we are now ready to formalise the placement of the rahui on the landfill site.”

It’s understood the ‘aukati’ bans heavy machinery and construction work at the proposed tip site but leaves the gathering of seafood unrestricted.

“(Maori leader) Mikaera Miru gave us further cultural background information on the reasons why placing a rahui on the proposed landfill land is appropriate. He said: ‘As kaitiaki, we have a responsibility to place a political rahui (an embargo), an aukati (block, veto) over the whenua (land) to prevent the landfill near the Hoteo River.’ He identified the relevant sections of the Resource Management Act and how they relate to the consent process.”

Fight the Tip executive member Michelle Carmichael told the meeting that a submission to the petition of parliament was due to go before the Environment Select Committee last Monday night.

“We wait for their deliberation. The committee may well ask for further clarification and updates from us. There was more discussion around alternatives to landfill and speakers included Jason Smith, mayor of Kaipara and Warwick Davies from Global Olivine who has designed a New Zealand-based complete waste disposal process.”

The meeting ended with a unanimous decision to proceed with the rahui.

Check Fight the Tip Facebook page for details.