Ngāti Whātua starts petition opposing landfill near Auckland

By Jessica Tyson

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua have started a petition opposing Auckland Council's applications for a Plan Change and Resource Consent for the proposed Dome Valley landfill.

The proposed landfill at Dome Valley, 70km north of Auckland, would open in around seven years and operate on a 35-year resource consent.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua believes waterways are in danger of being poisoned by the millions of tonnes of waste that would be dumped there.

The iwi says the current Dome Valley Landfill Application is focused on meeting the current needs of Auckland City Council’s waste requirements without regard to mana whenua and local community, the iwi said in a statement.

“It is the position of Ngāti Whātua that the landfill proposal in its current form will cause irreversible damage to Papatūānuku and pose significant ongoing risks to the sustainability and mauri of the Hoteo River, Kaipara Moana, our whenua and the broader environment.”

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua is calling for the Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff, the Auckland Council and the Minister for the Environment Hon David Parker to honour their Treaty obligations to mana whenua as kaitiaki of the Kaipara.

“We ask the Council to halt all discussions with Waste Management New Zealand and as a Treaty partner provide our iwi the opportunity to co-create a partnership that will assist our communities to manage waste in a way that puts Papatūānuku and our community at the centre of decision making.”

The Cheif Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua Alan Riwaka also says the government and Auckland council have used COVID-19 to dodge consultation.

 “The applications for the Dome Valley Plan Change and Resource Consent, they were lodged within a day or two of the level four lockdown being imposed back in March and it’s only just coming off today...So we feel that given the amount of time that we were in that Level 4 lockdown we should be extending the consultation period for at least a month.”

Riwaka says he advises the council to look into new technology instead to find ways to recycle waste.

The iwi will hand-deliver the petition to the Auckland major and present it in a formal submission process to the Auckland Council.