Concerns taken to Waitangi

Three members of the Kaikoura Maori Committee of the NZ Maori Council went to Waitangi last week to participate in the first of three hui held each year.

The Te Waipounamu District Council was represented by Major Timms, Tahua Solomon and Ngaio Te Ua from Kaikoura and three others from Otautahi (Christchurch).

The Kaikoura members focused on the impact of deep sea oil drilling and seismic testing in the Hikurangi trench; the effects on marine-life, the environment and the community should there be a disaster; and the establishment of Maori Wardens in this town.

The NZ Maori Council agreed to oppose all mining and exploration of oil until the Crown ceases drilling practices and engages in appropriate consultation processes that are agreed to with Maori. About 100 people also completed a hikoi from Te Rerenga Wairua at the top of the North to Waitangi to protest against gold and silver mining.

The Maori Wardens grew from the appointment of officers by the community, to undertake functions for the community. Now Maori Wardens are seen managing traffic at tangi and public functions, patrolling the streets to ensure people are safe, looking out for our children and assisting at community and domestic disturbances, and providing security at public functions. Major Timms is part of the Kaikoura Wardens, who saw a need for their input in the community after the incidents that occurred last year with disorderly youth.

The Kaikoura members found the hui invigorating and inspiring. Combined with vivid glimpses of politicians, protesters, Tino Rangatiratanga flags, waka, haka, markets, giant water-slides for children and tropical temperatures, it was a colourful way to celebrate New Zealand's National Day.

Kaikoura Star