Ngāti Tamainupō have resumed their protest to protect the remaining borrow pits situated on the doorstep of Puke-i-aahua Pā in Ngāruawāhia. The Waikato-based hapū suspended their protest last weekend in the hope of resolving the matter face-to-face with the developers, however, that has not happened.
Despite the efforts of the hapū to get their seat at the decision-making table, their voice has not been heard.
"It was decided that we needed to resume the protest with an indefinite finish date, until we are at the table. Until we feel that both parties are there to resolve the issue," says Kimai Huirama (Waikato, Ngāti Tamainupō).
Huirama says iwi and hapū have a vital role when it comes to Māori historical land.
"We are the experts in our cultural narrative, it's the one point of difference we bring to the table in matters like this."
The hapū are left wondering why they have been shut out of the planning process.
"Where did it go so wrong for us Ngāti Tamainupō in the consultation process?" says Huirama.
She believes there is something in the system that needs to be addressed.
"Due respect is not given to the hapū and iwi space until it comes out at this end. This is a problem that a lot of hapū and iwi have come up against."
The hapū are taking this stand to show the developers that they are not going anywhere until the matter is resolved face-to-face.
"We're here to hear from the developers now that they know those borrow pits are of significance to our hapū. What are they going to do to protect them?"
Te Ao have reached out to the developers, The Perry Group, for comment and are still awaiting their response.