18 Jul 2013

Iwi says council consultation limited

8:19 am on 18 July 2013

Bay of Plenty tribe of Ngati Makino says hui held by Rotorua District Council have been narrowly focussed and not the broad consultation expected since a court ruling.

The Environment Court has found the council misled Ngati Makino and Ngati Pikiao over the way it consulted on a proposal to build a wastewater treatment plant at Lake Rotoma.

A self-imposed council audit into the matter was called for after the court decision in May but has not yet started.

The council's director of Kaupapa Maori, Mauriora Kingi, says it has held hui with Ngati Makino and Ngati Pikiao since the court case.

However, Ngati Makino environmental officer Pia Bennett says those talks are different from what's expected from the self-imposed audit.

She says the hui have been centred on the wastewater plant proposal rather than focussing on the way the council deals with iwi.

Mr Kingi says talks have been about the treatment plant, which have also raised matters discussed in the Environment Court case.

He says one concern was that the council should lease Ngati Pikiao land rather than buy it for the wastewater plant, which is not part of the council's policy.

But Mr Kingi says it may need to lease land, and is considering the idea of reviewing its policy, which he says could create a better relationship with the two iwi, as well as other local tribes.