A three way stoush between two hapu of Ngati Rango and Waste Management made for an eventful hui in Helensville on March 23.
Organiser William Kapea said the hui was called by Ngati Rango to get Waste Management under the same roof as local tribe members to address concerns over the proposed landfill in the Dome Valley.
But before things could get properly underway proceedings were interrupted by chairwoman of Te Aroha Pa Orangi Edmonds, who said her hapu had not been represented.
Orangi Edmonds from Te Aroha Pa said her hapu hadn’t been consulted.
“We knew nothing about this meeting, and this panel doesn’t represent us. I am here for the mana of our people, and we totally oppose this,” Orangi said.
Moderator Richard Nahi apologised for the fact that Te Aroha marae had not been approached appropriately and acknowledged Orangi’s right to raise the point.
Te Aroha Pa trustee Margie Tukerangi was also firm on the hapu’s position on the proposed landfill, saying there was no way they would agree to anything that could jeopardise the waterways her tribe traditionally relied upon.
“Thank you for your mahi (work) but there is no rationalisation for this. Don’t bring it into our catchment because we won’t support it,” Margie said.
“You can’t control what might happen in the future and we’ve seen that with the silting of the Kaipara.
The Hoteo river feeds 32,000 tonnes of sediment into the harbour each year and we already don’t have the money to restore it,” she said.
A member of the crowd, Herby Skipper said that he went to school in the area and when it rained the kids who lived near the rivers were sent home early.
“It beggars belief that we would put a landfill among a system of rivers, and you can’t tell me they won’t break their banks. People live and support themselves on the Hoteo. It’s wai tapu (sacred).”
One man stood up and asked Ngati Rango to declare the area tapu to prevent the proposed landfill from happening.
Linda Clapham, who is a former trustee of Guardians of the Kaipara, said any negative impact to the waterways would have an impact on the nation’s snapper.
“DNA studies have shown that snapper from as far as Wellington spawn in the Kaipara. If you want to build a landfill alongside the Hoteo in a geographically chaotic area good luck to you and good luck to the snapper,” Linda said.
Waste Management technical services manager Ian Kennedy told the audience that the landfill would feature a clay lining that would drain any leachate into a series of collection ponds.
He said the ponds had been designed with a 100-year storm in mind so there should be no leakage of leachate into the Hoteo river.
“Do you promise?” asked a member of the crowd.