Open and work­able man­age­ment wish

South Waikato News - - OPINION -

I have been an en­thu­si­as­tic sup­porter of the Maun­gatau­tiri Eco­log­i­cal Is­land project; help­ing by do­nat­ing to­wards the fence and mon­i­tor­ing a line for pests.

How­ever dis­turb­ing ru­mours about the trust’s man­age­ment have caused me to with­draw my sup­port and sus­pend my vol­un­teer ac­tiv­i­ties.

I un­der­stand I am not alone in this with in­sti­ga­tor and chair­man David Wal­lace re­sign­ing, sev­eral trustees be­ing ‘‘re­moved’’, sup­port­ive landown­ers lock­ing gates and phi­lan­thropist Dr Gareth Mor­gan with­hold­ing do­na­tions and speak­ing pub­licly and damn­ingly of ‘‘in­dige­nous im­pe­ri­al­ism’’.

I have im­mense re­spect for many of the above peo­ple, some ob­vi­ously who are more in­formed of the prob­lems than I am.

The ru­mours I have heard is that the is­sues re­volve around a Treaty of Wai­tangi claim on the moun­tain and power grabs within the trust by Ngati Koroki Kahukura.

While I wish the project ev­ery suc­cess I am concerned that this huge com­mu­nity project, an as­set we have worked so hard to build, is be­ing hi­jacked un­der the ex­cuse of racism.

It is my hope that MEIT will re­alise the im­por­tance of com­mu­nity sup­port and the de­sire we have for it to suc­ceed – for the ben­e­fit of ALL of mankind.

I urge MEIT to con­sider the wildlife and quickly re­solve these is­sues by es­tab­lish­ing open and non­racist man­age­ment. And I urge other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to make their con­cerns known and en­sure our moun­tain is kept for the birds, the plants and for hu­man­ity as a whole. Sh­eryn Cloth­ier

Ti­rau pro­vid­ing lunches, din­ners and craft sou­venirs for the hun­dreds of tour coaches do­ing the golden triangle each day: Auck­land-Wait­o­moRo­torua-Auck­land.

At present the triangle is an A shape. Coaches have to re­trace from Wait­omo to Ki­hik­ihi or Te Awa­mutu, cut across to Cam­bridge or Pu­tararu then South again to Ro­torua.

Then re­trace from Ro­torua over the Ma­maku road to Auck­land. A di­rect road from Toko­rua to Ro­torua would give them a good route vari­a­tion with cheaper din­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

Our empty shops would ex­pand into large restau­rants. Tourists look in vain for gen­uine New Zealand made crafts to take home. Our lo­cals can get into craft-mak­ing and this town will blos­som. We could be­come an up­mar­ket res­i­den­tial sub­urb in com­mut­ing dis­tance for work in Ro­torua.

This, rather than strug­gling in vain to at­tract in­dus­try to an ob­scure lo­ca­tion to en­dan­ger our health with pol­lu­tion.

That’s the way to go. A di­rect high­way to Ro­torua built with govern­ment funds. Toko­roa would re­ally go ahead. The sec­ond stage? Get the road over Waipapa dam opened and a forestry road from there to Toko­roa up­graded to cut miles off the coach dis­tance trav­elled, and so al­low more time to shop in Toko­roa. Abra­ham Cox


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