Benefits for Ngāti Tama
Why do we support the proposed bypass?
The project yields many benefits for us that include gaining 120 hectares of our tupuna land, restoring the environmental values of Parininihi – mainly through an extensive pest management programme and replanting. There will be jobs and potential business opportunities for us. Here is a summary of the key benefits:
- Pest management over 3,650 hectares, IN PERPETUITY i.e. ongoing (or until we consider it is no longer needed). This includes our land and neighbouring Department of Conservation land). Funded by government, this pest management programme will allow our native forest, birds and animals to survive and thrive for many years to come. As we all know, pests and unfenced stock are destroying forests and waterways throughout Aotearoa and this offer will allow us to sustain and extend the successful pest eradication work of Tiaki Te Mauri o Parininihi http://parininihi.co.nz/
- We have an opportunity and obligation to help to protect lives and livelihoods. For those of us who live in Taranaki, this is critically important.
- The Project offers our people employment, training and potential business opportunities. We hope this will attract our people back home and to work on our whenua.
- We receive 120 hectares of coastal property (with wahi tapu, pa sites and wai tapu) at Pukearuhe, in exchange for 20 hectares (50 acres) of our land for the bypass. We ‘land’ with an additional 100 hectares (250 acres). This includes the site where Poutama Whiria – the adze from Tokomaru waka – was hidden and re-emerged.
- To recognise Ngāti Tama’s cultural connection with the area being used for the Mt Messenger Bypass, we have a Ngāti Tama Charitable Trust ready to be established to which a cultural compensation payment of 7.7 million dollars will be paid into if the vote on the Special Resolution is successful. Jamie Tuuta, Iwi leader and governance expert is leading the establishment of this Trust.
- A Kaitiaki Forum Group will oversee the environmental impacts of the bypass construction and ecology programme.
- Tens of thousands of native plants will be planted in Parininihi and neighbouring DOC land.
- Our ongoing involvement in the project enables Ngāti Tama to continue building a strong foundation mō o tātou mokopuna me ngā reanga kei te heke mai – our future generations.
As manawhenua and kaitiaki for this rohe, we aim to create beneficial outcomes for Ngāti Tama, as well as for our local communities and wider Taranaki region. We’re part of these communities and improving the highway at Mt Messenger is good for everyone.
We choose to exercise our duty to manaaki others in our rohe by supporting NZTA’s mission to save lives and reduce serious injuries on the highway. As one of our whaea who drives Mt Messenger regularly has said “I’m too scared of the heavy traffic and road conditions to put my mokopuna in the car with me.”