Ngāti Tama backs the Mt Messenger Bypass
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Tama Chair Paul Silich announced today the Iwi’s support for entering agreements with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency that sees a modern $200m bypass of hazardous road on State Highway 3 at Mt Messenger in north Taranaki.
This announcement is the result of the Iwi’s vote on Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Tama’s resolution to accept Waka Kotahi’s offer. Support from at least 75 percent of those who voted was needed to get it across line. This was surpassed, with 82 percent of voters agreeing with the Trustees’ support for the bypass and agreements.
Over the past months, the Board has carried out comprehensive engagement with its members to share information on the Mt Messenger Bypass project and the agreements on offer.
“We knew the agreements were good for our iwi, and this vote confirms it. 61% of our members voted, which is high and indicative of their strong interest.
I’d like to acknowledge and thank our membership for supporting a new, safer and more resilient road at Mt Messenger. We’re humbled by their support and welcome their ongoing involvement in the project – including those who may not have been in favour of the agreements,” said Paul.
“Most people we spoke with knew the road was no longer fit for purpose. As one of our kuia said, we need to listen to people who know about safer roads and how to build them.”
“Our people have lived in this area for many generations, and at one time we were responsible for holding back invasions into Taranaki from the north. This time, we can help protect lives and livelihoods. The new road will benefit all our communities. This pandemic has shown us just how reliant we are on securing highways for our essential goods.”
20 hectares of Ngāti Tama land is to be used for the new road, and, in exchange, the Iwi will receive a 120ha of coastal property, a cultural compensation payment and an environmental programme that includes pest management in perpetuity on 3,650ha in the rohe.
“This is a huge win for the environment, for Taranaki and for our Iwi,” said Paul.
“Pests are destroying our native species, and this provides an incredible opportunity to get rid of them and allow native flora and fauna to regenerate. Other parts of the agreement allow for a cultural narrative along the route which tells some of our history in the form of designs and pou.”
“Taranaki’s a great place to live and this will provide our region with muchneeded economic benefits. We’re hoping this will attract more people home. For us, this is an exciting and challenging time. As partners in the bypass project, we have mahi to get on with to prepare for the work ahead.”
SGM - Saturday 11 July 2020, Zoom Webinar
Attention members of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Tama and applicants awaiting membership confirmation.
If you plan to attend our Special General Meeting on Saturday 11 July 2020 via Zoom Webinar, we invite you to register your attendance.
The meeting will start at 10am.
The sole purpose of the meeting is to vote on the Special Resolution, the details of which are in your voting pack.
If you plan to cast your vote during the Special General Meeting, you are required to be logged onto the Zoom webinar until your vote is cast.
Your vote must be cast before the Chair declares the meeting is closed.
Online voting login details are on your Voting Form.
NOTE: Should you wish to attend the SGM in person, the venue is Knox Church, 15 Grey St, Waitara.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Tama: Mt Messenger Bypass Pānui - 27 December 2019)
E aku nui, e aku rahi,
tēnā koutou katoa!
As many of you
know, the Rūnanga has been working with the New Zealand Transport Authority (Waka
Kōtahi, NZTA) for the past 3 years on planning for a safer and more reliable road
to the north. Our local communities have
come out strongly for a new road, including Ngāti Mutunga and other Iwi, and
the proposed Mt Messenger Bypass offers this for all of Taranaki.
The Environment Court released an interim decision about the Mt Messenger Bypass resource consents. The decision is positive for the bypass, the Rūnanga, and NZTA, and for an appeal we lodged in support of our kaitiaki rights. The Court will issue a final decision in the New Year, following a decision from the Iwi on whether we enter into an agreement with NZTA.
We’ve been talking with members about the Mt Messenger Bypass for some time, most recently at the information sharing hui and at our Annual General Meeting in September. Your feedback to us about Ngati Tama’s involvement in the project, has, on the whole, been supportive of the proposed bypass and our position.
mandated Rūnanga, we have passed a unanimous resolution to enter agreements
with NZTA, which include:
- pest management in perpetuity over our 3,650 hectares, which includes the Parininihi estate. (This is urgent mahi, and if it is not done now, pests will continue to destroy our native plants, birds, and animals);
- work opportunities for our people;
- a significant cultural mitigation payment into a separate trust for the benefit of our Iwi; and
- an exchange of 22 hectares (approx) of our land for 120 hectares (approx) of coastal Parininihi property to build the bypass. Certainly, this offers us a lot more land, and, critically, it is land that contains our numerous pā sites, wāhi tapu, and wai tapu, and is of huge cultural significance to us. Our tupuna fought hard to hold this land and were renown for barring ‘the way to hostile incursions from the north’, effectively holding the ‘keys of Taranaki’. The exchanged land would reconnect us with the north and means we no longer need to request access permission from other landowners. It must come back to us.
There will shortly be an opportunity for Ngati Tama to vote on whether we should finalise the agreements with NZTA. We are treating this decision as a ‘major transaction’ under our constitution. So, we’d like to talk with you about why we’re supporting this and to answer any of your questions. We’ll soon post the dates of our various hui to be held in the New Year, so please keep a close eye on this space.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Tama
Environment Court Interim Decision (December 2019)
to the Environment Court Interim Decision
In July 2019, the Environment Court heard an appeal from ourselves, Department of Conservation (DOC), Te Korowai Tiaki O Te Hauauru Inc, Poutama Kaitiaki Charitable Trust and D&T Pascoe against the independent Commissioner's Decision and the NOR Decision regarding resource consent for an alteration of the current designation for SH3 (to enable the construction and operation of a new 6km section of highway to bypass the existing 7.4km section).
Our appeal was on the grounds that, while we had
been in discussions with New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) on reaching
agreement on measures to address the adverse cultural effects of the Project,
we had not yet a final agreement, and, in order to preserve our position, we
sought provisions to address the adverse cultural effects. We also opposed the
conditions that provided for the direct involvement of others (in this case Mr
and Mrs Pascoe) in a Kaitiaki Forum Group.
Key points from the Environment Court findings for
us are that:
- ‘Ngāti Tama has mana
whenua over the Project area and it is appropriate that it be the only body
referred to in conditions addressing cultural matters’.
- NZTA ‘has (correctly in
our view) proceeded on the basis that it would be wrong to once again use the Crown's
coercive powers against Ngāti Tama in order to re-acquire their land. It has
instead proceeded on the basis that the Project will only go ahead if it were
able to gain the consent of Te Rūnanga for the Ngāti Tama Land. Extensive
mitigation and compensation proposals have been negotiated, and the iwi will
decide whether or not to accept them’.
- 'Mrs Pascoe is not
kaitiaki in the sense the term 'kaitiakitanga' is used in the Act. The
relationship the Pascoes have with their land is one of stewardship.'
- 'The adverse social impact
of the Project on the Pascoes is severe. We consider, however, that proposed
condition 5A will mitigate those effects to the extent possible if the Project
is approved and proceeds and the Pascoes accept the Agency's offer to buy their
house, the land on which it sits, and the other land that is required for the
- The Court noted
that while there is no statutory obligation on requiring authorities or consent
applicants to consult, the Transport Agency's consultation was ‘extensive and
- ‘Poutama are not tangata
whenua exercising mana whenua over the Project area. It follows, therefore,
that it is not appropriate that it be recognised in any consent conditions
addressing kaitiakitanga that may issue.’
The proceeding is adjourned to 31 March 2020, and
on that date NZTA is to file a memorandum advising the Court of the state of
negotiations with the Rūnanga.
For the complete Summary of findings, refer to
pages 108 – 112.