Sunday 28th March, 70 Rongomaiwahine descendants welcomed members of the Green Party’s Māori Caucus, Te Mātāwaka, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere and Teanau Tuiono, to discuss concerns about RocketLab’s operations on the Mahia Peninsula.
“We heard the call from the uri to have the RocketLab removed. We are disappointed with the lack of information being given to the Ahi Kā of Rongomaiwahine. RocketLab and the Government have missed the mark with honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for Security and Intelligence Teanau Tuiono.
“It is a serious matter we are dealing with when shareholders of Māori land are being missed during consultation processes to do with their whenua,” said MP Tuiono.
“We support the whānau decision to submit an inquiry into the governments Space Policy as the Treaty Partner. The whānau have expressed there will be peaceful protesting until their message and call have been heard.
“There is no excuse as to why affected whānau are being overlooked when a company wants to use land. Shareholders we have spoken to have not seen the contract with RocketLab, which shows the lack of consultation done with tangata whenua.
“It is a perception of segregation when there are two gates, one for Māori and one for RocketLab when accessing the whenua. RocketLab accesses the whenua through an electric gate which needs a password to get through, while Māori are required to enter through a standard farm gate over bumpy, gravel road before meeting the nicely sealed RocketLab road.
“This is an example of how easy it can be to tokenise partnerships with tangata whenua. This whānau have experienced the Government’s lack of understanding of Mana Motuhake and Tino Rangatiratanga.
“I will work to ensure the Government answers patai from the whānau who are unaware of the different RocketLab activities happening on Māori land.
“Ko ngā whakaaro nui e rere ana ki te hapū nā rātau, mātau i manaaki, i tiaki ki a Ngāi Tū, Otirā nā te nohonga o te kuia a Pauline Tangiora ki waenga tonu i ngā kōrero i mahana ai te puna aroha.”
Green Party spokesperson for Māori Development Dr Elizabeth Kerekere attended as the Green Party MP based in Gisborne.
“The Green Party is very conscious of the impact of successive rocket launches on the whenua and moana of Mahia and Ikaroa-Rāwhiti. The whānau have seen the absence of local birds and kaimoana so we support the call from whānau for independent cultural and environmental impact assessments.
“We are here to work, represent, and push for the voices of Māori to be heard in the halls of Te Whare Paremata. We thank ngā uri o Rongomaiwahine for your kōrero. We have heard, and we will work with you to ensure there are no gates to separate and segregate you from your own whenua.”