The former Kapiti Coast Mayor Jenny Rowan is demanding full civil rights for a well-known Maori kaitiaki (guardian) in Levin.
KIN’s Horowhenua correspondent Veronica Harrod says Ms Rowan, the new chair of the Horowhenua Lake Domain Board, is insisting that the board meets at a venue Philip Taueki has access to.
There is a trespass notice preventing Mr Taueki from entering the council building in Levin where Board meetings are held.
Mr Taueki is the great great grandson of paramount chief Taueki who signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and he is one of the owners of Lake Horowhenua. His direct protests have earned him the wrath of the local council.
But Mr Taueki’s rights are among a range of historic firsts that have been taking place at Domain Board meetings in Levin since new chair Jenny Rowan took up her role earlier this year.
A former mayor of Kapiti Coast District Council (2007 –2013), Ms Rowan represents the Board on behalf of the Director General of the Department of Conservation.
A key ‘first’ came when she stated an intention, “to have meetings at a venue he [Philip Taueki] can attend” because of the trespass notice preventing him from entering the council building in Levin.
Water cut off for Mr Taueki
Ms Rowan also said the fact that water to Mr Taueki’s residence at Lake Horowhenua has been turned off raised questions about the “human rights and morality of the decision.” In a verbal submission to the Board former councillor Anne Hunt said Mr Taueki has lived in a residence with no water supply for over 500 days.
And Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen said he found the decision to turn the water off, “a breach of human rights…concerned about HDC taking the action it has and what it might lead to further down the track.”
Ms Rowan: We need to talk with Philip
Ms Rowan reiterated, “We need to have more conversations with Philip. I am very committed to sorting this out. I find it unacceptable. He is down there. The toby for the water is on Domain Board land. Need to think about this team,” she said to the other board members seated around the table. “We have a responsibility to turn that water on.”
She also scored an historic first last week when she made a verbal submission in the consultation over the Horowhenua District Council’s first 20 year Long Term Plan.
Board’s important responsibilities
She said the Lake Doman Board, “has responsibilities for the Domain land, buildings, and the surface waters of the lake for recreational purposes, so has an interest in what water (mostly storm water) enters the lake.
She said Lake Horowhenua is, “on private land – it should not be seen in this century to be the local sewer for everyone else’s rubbish and pollutants.
“The responsibility surely lies with other private land owners to be managing their own properties in a way that protects the lake from their pollutants such as nitrates, heavy metals and sediment run off.
“We would expect the HDC to invest in educating industry and agricultural operators better on their obligations around runoff and farm management.”