Activist wants lake to stay shut
A Levin activist has vowed to keep the gates to Lake Horowhenua closed until Waitangi Tribunal recommendations are enacted.
Philip Taueki made the claim at a Lake Horowhenua Domain Board meeting yesterday, almost a week after he locked the gates to the lake domain.
Taueki has long campaigned to restore the heavily polluted lake to its former glory and he has had problems with authorities in the past about the management of the lake and nearby domain.
At the meeting, Taueki, who claimed he was strangled by someone at the weekend during an argument about the closure, said the domain was private property and he wanted the tribunal recommendations to come into force.
The tribunal, which looked at how Horowhenua iwi Muau¯poko was the victim of Te Tiriti o Waitangi breaches, said a new governance board should be created to care for the lake and surrounds, which hasn’t been done. ‘‘Until you do something about that, the lake is going to stay closed.’’
He said the domain board was supposed to look after the lake for the public and beneficiaries. ‘‘I’ve got nothing against the public using it, but not until the Crown honours the Treaty.’’
Board chairman Reg Kemper said: ‘‘Identifying what is a fair representation of the Muau¯poko [Tribal Authority] is the key. The board is not able to do that at the moment, the matter is before the courts.’’
Kemper, who is also the Department of Conservation’s lower North Island operations director, said the lake was the most complex issue he had encountered in his career. ‘‘I look forward to the new year and to try to raise the level of community co-operation from all involved remains my objective.’’
During the meeting, Kemper asked for Taueki to behave while in the council chambers. ‘‘Don’t talk to me about good behaviour, you start behaving and fix up the lake,’’ Taueki said.
Taueki last week said he had asked the board to give proof septic tanks attached to public toilets at the Sea Cadets building and dog club were being emptied.
Horowhenua District Council governance and executive support officer Karen Corkill said plumbers had checked the toilet and septic tank, which were working properly. The tank would be emptied shortly and would be done annually.
The board also passed a motion to hold Waitangi Day celebrations at the domain, despite protests from Taueki, as well as motions to collect litter and for the dog club to use the domain.
The next board meeting is in February.
Philip Taueki wants to see changes to how Lake Horowhenua is managed.