Te Ururoa Flavell: Party hold Govt to account

By Te Ururoa Flavell

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The Maori Party is opposing the proposed changes to the Resource Management Act. Photo / File
The Maori Party is opposing the proposed changes to the Resource Management Act. Photo / File

I was pleasantly surprised this week when I went training for the Iron Maori at the Aquatic Centre.

I must admit I'm a bit anxious and nervous about the event.

Some young people were also there just relaxing and after we greeted one another we talked a bit about politics.

It was an interesting conversation and the great thing was they were prepared to ask questions. If one asks then perhaps you can be enlightened.

As politicians we should be prepared to hear everyone's views. If one is aware of the political environment, then you will understand the manoeuvring this week.

The Resource Management Act (RMA) was made law in 1991. It was established with the purpose of protecting the environment. Its impact stretches to aspects of the building industry, building wharves, mining and so on.

Recently the Government has decided to change the RMA because of the many changes that have taken place around the world since the law was first implemented.

The Maori Party was able to influence the proposals by ensuring that the Treaty of Waitangi clause remains in place and other sections have been strengthened.

But there are other parts that have been watered down. From our perspective economic considerations have taken over environmental considerations and because of this, we will not be supporting this new law. The Maori Party together with the United Future party are opposing the changes and the law is unlikely to be passed with its current proposals.

We expect our laws to enhance a sustainable environment where our natural resources are protected and the Treaty is honoured. Even though we are a small party, we are sometimes able to hold the Government to account and that is a great feeling.

Above all of this, what a week. I was at Omaio where a hapu of Te Whanau a Apanui, some engineers and students came together to collaborate because the hapu want to set up their own power company. They have the sun, the sea, rivers and resources to generate their own power. We are talking about little Omaio! Awesome!

I also travelled to Auckland to catch up with some potential future candidates for the Maori Party at the next election. We won't be revealing any names yet but I can say, we have some good people lined up.

I also went to Whakatane to the annual meeting of the Maori Women's Welfare League. It was sad not to see Parekura Horomia there. He was always present, year, in year out.

There were a lot of people at the hui at Wairaka Marae and the korero was as challenging as ever. We are seeing many of our significant Maori organisations preparing to revitalise and refocus to meet the needs of our future generations - including the league, the Kohanga Reo Trust and the New Zealand Maori Council.

You can't go wrong, in my view, if we just focus on the needs of our mokopuna - and that includes the mighty Maori Party too. We must be forward-facing and future oriented if we are to achieve a purpose in the hearts and minds of our people. Noho ora mai ra.

I welcome your feedback. Email mpwaiariki@parliament.govt.nz or phone 0508 924 274.

Te Ururoa Flavell is the co-leader of the Maori Party and the MP for Waiariki.

Maori Translation

I ohorere pai au i tenei wiki i te Aquatic Centre i Rotorua nei. I haere au ki reira ki te whakapakari i te tinana. Kei te whakatata mai a Iron Maori, a, kua tau mai a awangawanga raua ko manukanuka mo taua kaupapa ra.

Heoi ano i reira etahi rangatahi e whakataa ana, a, ka mihi mai, ka mihi atu, katahi ka timata tetahi ki te korero mo te mahi torangapu. Ko te mea pai, ko tona hiahia ki te patai mai. Ma te patai, tera pea ka puta he maramatanga.

Koina te mahi a nga kaitorangapu, me whai whakaaro mai i te katoa.
Ma te marama ki te mahi torangapu ka kitea mai nga nekeneke a torangapu nei i tenei wiki kua hipa.

Ko te Resource Management Act (RMA) tetahi ture no te tau 1991 i hangaia kia noho hei tahuhu korero, hei tiaki i te taiao, na te mea kua pa atu ona toronga ki nga take hanga whare, hanga wapu ranei, te mahi keri waro, te mea te mea.

Inatatanei, i puta te whakaaro o te Kawanatanga ki te whakapanoni i taua pire i te mea, kua rereke noa atu te ao ki tera i te orokohanga mai o te pire, no reira, me pera ka tika.

Na nga aki o Te Paati Maori, kei reira tonu te wahanga Tiriti, a, kua pakari ake etahi atu wahanga. Engari, ara ano etahi atu wahanga kua waimehatia. Ki o matou whakaaro, kua ahua kaha ake te aronga o te ture ki nga take ohanga, mahi pakihi, ki era o te tiaki taiao.

Kua kii ake matou, e kore matou e tautoko mena koia ra te aronga. Heoi ano, na te noho tahi a Te Paati Maori me te paati United Future, e kore te pire e eke, ka mutu, ka hinga!! A, ahakoa he ropu iti nei matou, ka taea te whakatika i te Kawanatanga i etahi wa.

Na i tua atu o tera, katahi te wiki. I Omaio au i nga ra kua hipa ki te ata titiro ki tetahi kaupapa kua ara ake i te mahi tahi o te hapu me nga matanga hiko, tae atu ki nga tauira o nga whare wananga. Kei te pirangi te hapu o Te Whanau a Apanui ki te whakarite i tona ake pakihi a hiko!! Kei a ratou te ra, te moana, nga awa, nga rawa ki te whakatupu i te hiko mo ratou ake. I Omaio tonu!!! Ka wani ke.

I eke atu au ki Tamaki Makaurau ki te toro haere i etahi atu hei reo korero mo Te Paati Maori a Te Kowhiringa Pooti a te tau hou. Taihoa ake nei ka puta etahi ingoa. Kei a matou etahi e hoa ma!!!!

No nga ra tata kua hipa, i eke atu au ki Te Manuka Tutahi mo te hui a tau o Te Ropu Wahine Maori Toko i te Ora. E aroha atu ana kaore a Parekura i tona hui!! Koia te tino tangata haere ki enei momo hui ia tau, ia tau. E moe e Para. I mua i te marae e te tangata, he reka hoki nga korero katoa. Ko te ahua nei kei te whakaritehia nga ropu Maori pera i Te Ropu Wahine Maori Toko i te Ora, Te Tarati o te Kohanga Reo me Te Kaunihera Maori hoki kia aro atu ano ki nga ra i mua i a tatou. Me aro tatou ki a tatou mokopuna ka tika. Me aro whakamua kia hopu i nga pumanawa o te tangata. Kaati ake mo tenei wa. Noho ora mai ra.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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