11 May 2015

Is the EPA up to dealing with Maori?

9:10 am on 11 May 2015

A Taranaki tribe is accusing the Environmental Protection Authority of failing to meet and talk to the region's iwi.

The claim is made in feedback to a proposal by Shell Todd Oil Services to continue pumping oil from the Maui field.

Gas pipes

Gas pipes Photo: 123rf

The Environmental Protection Authority has a Māori Advisory Committee, which was set up to instil a Māori perspective in decision making.

However, the tribe, Ngāruahine, said as far as it was aware the committee had not engaged with all of the iwi of Taranaki to understand the tāngata whenua viewpoint and how it related to the management and protection of coastal waters.

The iwi said while the committee might have a broad view of Maori, it questioned what it knew about Ngāruahine.

It went on to say it was particularly disappointing that matters of significance to iwi were not part of the decision making criteria.

Ngāruahine is calling on the Environmental Protection Authority to make sure the Māori Advisory Committee has enough staff and money to engage with all of the iwi of Taranaki.

When asked, the authority did not respond to any of those criticisms, and instead directed Te Manu Korihi to its website, where there is no evidence to show the Māori Committee engaged with Taranaki iwi.

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