Iwi riled by plan to dump oil waste

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2012

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Taranaki has been labelled the "waste dump of the country" over plans to truck oil and gas drilling waste from the East Coast to the region.

But Maori from both sides of the North Island are unhappy about the proposal by Tag Oil and Apache Corporation.

The companies' resource consent application for exploration on the East Coast says waste will be trucked to consented facilities in Taranaki.

But cultural issues are being raised about dumping waste from one's iwi rohe (territory) in another's.

Taranaki iwi advocate Peter Moeahu said he did not want East Coast waste on "our rohe".

"We will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them on the land, we will fight them anywhere we can to keep their crap out of our place."

According to the Gisborne District Council website, the application says drilling wastes, excess cement, sanitary wastes and spill cleanups (if any) will be disposed of at either the Waikaikai Farms disposal site, north west of Patea or the BTW Brown Rd site near Waitara.

Gisborne District councillor Manu Caddie said there was quite a bit of toxic material. "We are grateful to Taranaki for being the waste dump of the country."

Some Maori have an issue with dumping their waste in another iwi's rohe, he said, and the cultural issues would need to be taken into account.

East Coast Ahi Ka Action Group spokeswoman Ani Pahuru-Huriwai said they did not want to be Taranaki's problem.

"Of course we are concerned if they dispose of it in the Tairawhiti. How are they going to do that and where are they going to do that? But removing the problem and taking it into another iwi's rohe is not a solution."

Nga Ariki Kaiputahi publicly advertised that it opposed any oil and drilling exploratory practices on or around its lands.

As a spokeswoman for Nga Ariki Kaiputahi and as a descendant of Te Aitanga A Mahaki, Marise Lant said they did not consent to waste being transported anywhere within the country.

"There should not even be any waste. Oil companies should fly it back to their own backyard and offload it there if it's so safe."

Taranaki iwi were going to be receiving the waste, so they should come out against it, she said. "We will support them."

Kara Mackey, of Ngati Oneone, Te Poho o Rawiri Marae says they also opposed the idea of transporting waste to Taranaki.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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