Ac­tivist wants lake to stay shut

Manawatu Standard - - Front Page - Ge­orge Heag­ney ge­orge.heag­[email protected]

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.

MUR­RAY WIL­SON/STUFF

Philip Taueki wants to see changes to how Lake Horowhenua is man­aged.

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