This week, the Environment Court sat at Mōkau Marae to consider the appeal of the Northland Regional Council Plan to implement Significant Ecological Area's (SEA's) in Te Tai Tokerau - The appeal was lead by Forest & Bird and Bay of Island Marine Park.
SEA's are determined under the Resource Management Act and give councils control over designated areas, which include fishing regulations.
Carmen Hetaraka was born and raised in the rohe of Ngāti Wai ki Whangaruru and Otangaeri. He is of Te Uri ō Hikihiki, Patu Harakeke and Te Kapotai.
"Ko nga mana katoa ō Ngāti Wai kei te wai, i nga taniwha me ō ratou manawa"
Mr. Hetaraka stated "One of our great historians and leaders Morore Pīripi recorded that Ngāti Wai people of prophecy. Our tohunga had sacred caves with pools of fresh water in our rohe moana where they would gain inspiration and direction for the well-being of their people. Ko nga mana katoa ō Ngāti Wai kei te wai, i ngā taniwha me ō ratou manawa : All the mana of Ngāti Wai comes from the sea, from its guardian taniwha/mauri and their spiritual force. This whakatauki underpins the importance of this kaupapa and the reason why I am here today"
Covered in Mr. Hetaraka's submission:
Te Uri ō Hikihiki is the largest mana whenua exercise, group in the coastal and marine area from Motukokako to Mimiwhangata;
Crown legislation which has undermined Te Uri ō Hikihiki control, kaitiakitanga and guardianship of the rohe moana;
Te Uri ō Hikihiki attempts to address the decline of Taonga species
Te Uri ō Hikihiki wish to excercise its unique functions and customary interests under section 6 (e & g), 7 (a & aa) and 8 of the act; and
Te Uri ō Hikihiki wish for a positive future of restored biodiversity and productivity of their rohe moana which is inextricably connected to cultural and social well-being.
Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust