- Last week Ngāti Ruanui and the lobby group Kiwis Against Seabed Mining presented a petition of 6,000 people to Green Party Member of Parliament, Gareth Hughes. The petition seeks a moratorium on seabed mining, and is a result of Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd advising they have resubmitted an application for a seabed mining consent off the Taranaki coast.
By way of background, Trans-Tasman Resources seeks to mine 50 million tonnes of the seabed per year for twenty years, in order to extract iron ore. Its 2014 application was declined by the Environmental Protection Authority. The new application is said to be much the same, except for 40 pages of redacted information which interested parties can only access after signing a confidentiality agreement. Mr Hughes will now table the petition in Parliament. Pānui 30/2016 provides details.
- The Māori Women’s Welfare League held its annual conference in Auckland this week. One agenda item that has been raised in the media is a financial dispute of circa $30,000 between the national executive and the Manurewa branch of the organisation.
- Last week Parliament voted down – at its first reading – a bill from Green Party Member, Catherine Delahunty, to exempt Māori freehold land from being acquirable by the Crown via the Public Works Act. This followed a petition signed by 4,814 people seeking this law change which was tabled in Parliament earlier this month. We note the proposed amendment followed the high profile case in which the Land Transport Agency (unsuccessfully) sought the compulsory sale of whenua from Patricia Grace and her whānau, to build the Kapiti Expressway (Pānui 9/2014 refers).
- The Independent Māori Statutory Board of the Auckland Council has lodged an appeal against the Unitary Plan, as it excludes the list of sites of significance to Māori. Pānui 42/2013 and 27/2016 refers.
- The National Māori Housing Conference is being held in Tauranga this week.
- The New Zealand Herald has written an article of ethnic disparities within school qualification achievements.