A representative of the Whatitiri Māori Reserves Trust says the Northland Regional Council is making moves to avoid consulting with hapū and iwi. This follows an application made by council to reduce its daily water intake which could impact the requirement to consult hapū around resource consent.
An ongoing dispute between NRC and Whatitiri Māori Reserves Trust.
Millan Ruka says, “We've just got another consent for the waters of Whatatiri maunga that flows in to the Poroti springs the council has deemed it as no effect to us to our hapū.”
The application is a replacement consent from 500 cubic metres per day take to 499 cubic metres per day.
Ruka continues, “They're recommending already, that it's non notifiable, which means we have no say whatsoever in the consent, our hapū all the way around the maunga are affected.”
Northland regional council sent an email to Milan Ruka spokesperson for the Whatitiri Māori Reserves Trust that stated that there is no cultural impact as it is on the other side of the Whatatiri Maunga.
Ruka says that Te Uriroroi hapū has whakapapa links to that side of the maunga, and is certain they will be impacted by this replacement consent.
“The council use the RMA to deem that Māori using water, unless they have a consent they don't factor to have a say in the RMA.”
The Poroti springs is already at a record low and is a concern for the hapū.
Ruka concludes, “Already for this season we have we have again near record low flow of 25 percent of the Natural flow.”