2 Sep 2013

Hapu present petition against road

7:42 pm on 2 September 2013

Rotorua hapu have presented the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) with a petition against a roading project that cuts through tribal land.

About 60 people from Ngati Te Roro o Te Rangi, Ngati Hurunga Te Rangi and Ngati Uenukukopako met NZTA representatives on Saturday.

Kaumatua presented the 2421-strong online petition against the Rotorua Eastern Arterial, which will run from the airport towards the city.

Hapu spokesperson Nireaha Pirika says it was agreed a working party would be established to asses alternative options.

"The hapu members went there, I suppose, angry and I think they came away with a bit more information and maybe a certain willingness to work with the NZTA," Mr Pirika says.

"But in saying that, just like any government department, I think we are very cautious in the way that we're going to do things or handle this."

The NZTA also agreed to stop discussing the plans with landowners, which he says is a tool to divide and conquer.