Levin correspondent Veronica Harrod says some local Maori have been excluded by the Hokio District Council from consultation over Levin’s landfill in a secret deal.
The deal could see the tip remain open for a further 35 years.
MuaUpoko are private owners of the bed of Lake Horowhenua and the Hokio Stream but have been excluded by Horowhenua District Council from consultation over the contentious landfill in the secret deal.
Instead, the Council’s chief executive, David Clapperton, initiated meetings with Environment Court applicant Hokio Environmental Kaitiaki Association (HEKA), and parties to the application including Ngati Raukawa hapu Ngati Pareraukawa, to ensure the landfill can stay open.
A draft copy of a press release prepared by the Council states both HEKA and Pareraukawa have agreed to end their Environment Court appeal over odour and leachate concerns once the agreement is signed.
Tamarangi hapu representative Vivienne Taueki of MuaUpoko Co-operative Society said the Council “are aware of – but refuse to” consult with the MuaUpoko owners “regarding serious
adverse effects and consent from the owners for the discharge of contaminants onto our private land.”
She says Tamarangi do acknowledge Pareraukawa as being an affected party because Pareraukawa marae, Ngatokowaru, is close to the Levin landfill four km west of Levin on Hokio Beach Road.
But she says MuaUpoko hold mana whenua over the bed of Lake Horowhenua and Hokio Stream.
“This is acknowledged in the Lake Horowhenua Accord documents and was confirmed in the recent Muaupoko Priority Report released by the Waitangi Tribunal,” she said.
Mana whenua definition
The 2017 MuaUpoko Priority Report defines mana whenua as, “customary rights and prestige and authority over land.”
She described the lack of acknowledgement by Mr Clapperton and the Council of the serious actual and potential adverse
cultural effects caused by discharge of leachate into groundwater and surface water from the landfill to the ‘Tatana drain’ that enters Hokio stream, “of greatest concern.”
“The discharge of contaminants into the Hokio stream via surface water from the Tatana drain should be dealt with by a new resource consent application because there is no consent to discharge surface water.”
“Many of our hapu members are also private owners of the bed of the stream and assert that there is a requirement by Council to apply for consent for the discharge of contaminants by surface water to land which is the bed of the stream,” Ms Taueki said.
Council’s Long Term Plan 2018-2038 states, “A key negative effect…is the presence of both ground and airborne contaminants produced by the Landfill and their potential harm to the immediate environment. This effect is mitigated by strict adherence to Horizons Regional Council’s resource consent conditions. Council also facilitates a neighbourhood group and monitors the airborne effects associated with the Landfill.”