The Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust is drawing another line in the sand with Ngati Toa over what lies beneath Wellington's Buckle St.
The trust, which represents Taranaki whanau, has told the Government their iwi rivals should not get a say in the fate of any human remains found during construction of the new National War Memorial Park.
The Government wants to "trench" Buckle St between Tory and Taranaki streets and cover it with an overpass that will be transformed into a park in time for the Gallipoli centenary on Anzac Day 2015.
The total cost of the project is expected to be about $80 million, with Wellington City Council confirming yesterday that the ratepayer contribution will increase from $2m to $5m.
In order for the park to be built in time, the Government needs to pass the National War Memorial Park (Pukeahu) Empowering Bill, allowing it to bypass the normal resource consent process.
At a Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee hearing on the bill yesterday, Port Nicholson trustee Liz Mellish said all reference to Ngati Toa should be removed from the legislation.
Port Nicholson - which owns land around the Carillon - and the Wellington Tenths Trust were uncomfortable with schedule 5 of the bill, she said.
It states that if any koiwi tangata (human remains) are encountered they, along with Ngati Toa, must be advised immediately.
"The trusts do not believe Ngati Toa has any standing in Pukeahu sufficient to justify its inclusion in any respect," Ms Mellish said.
The bill's lack of reference to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi was also a concern, she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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