13 Feb 2014

Cultural consultation 'not necessary'

7:44 pm on 13 February 2014

An Australian city council is making it clear that Maori carved totem poles are not being placed at the entrance of a New South Wales park.

A Darug tribal elder, Sandra Lee, has spoken out saying they can be erected anywhere else but in the front of the Nurragingy Reserve.

Two four-metre-high carved pou have been commissioned by the Blacktown City Council in New South Wales to commemorate the 30-year sister city relationship with Porirua.

The Blacktown City Council has responded saying it reached an agreement with its sister city partner to erect the pou in the New Zealand South Pacific Garden within the Nurragingy Reserve, and not at the entry point of the park.

For that reason, the council said no consultation with any other cultural groups was necessary.

The project is under threat, as the initiative has upset the local aboriginal community, and prompted Porirua iwi, Ngati Toa, to consider withdrawing its support - unless concerns by tangata whenua there are addressed.