By Fiona Mackenzie
1Law4All is concerned that New Zealanders will increasingly be locked out of their own parks and waterways. This is due to elected politicians transferring control over public outdoor spaces to tribal elites.
A two-day hui is currently being held at Te Papa, Wellington. Council and government representatives charged with protecting public interests are discussing further co-management of land and marine environments with the tribal elite. This no doubt extends to lucrative consultancy fees or salaries, and opportunities to apply new taxes on users.
Many outdoor recreation groups are unaware of the possible ramifications on access and permit fees.
The impact of such arrangements is already being felt in Auckland with tribal co-management of the city’s volcanic cones. In the “supercity’s” Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill Domain, four running or orienteering events have been denied permits in the past three months, despite firm ground conditions after an autumn of dry weather.
Earlier this month, bureaucrats disappointed two hundred 7-16 year olds by cancelling their annual cross country pairs relay with only 2 days’ notice,
While sheep graze this land (which houses Sorrento in the Park restaurant and the Stardome Observatory), tourists come for the views, and people privately walk and run it every day, iwi have persuaded Council bureaucrats that it’s not acceptable to let run organisers have access to the grassy hillsides.
According to a Council spokeperson, the event would have been approved if it only involved running on the roads or footpaths.
So forget the obesity epidemic, kids in high-density suburbs needing somewhere to run and play, or the damage to knees and tendons caused by running on hard surfaces.
Co-management is the new focus for tribal elite wanting to gain more unelected, unaccountable power over New Zealanders and to secure new revenue streams. Race-based control and taxes are no doubt coming to a park or water feature near you.
Historic Background to One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie):
Waiohua occupation of the Māori pā on One Tree Hill or Maungakiekie ended around 1740-1750 AD when they were defeated in a tribal war with the invading Ngati Whatua-o-Kaipara. The pā was totally abandoned around 1795 AD with the death of Te Taou leader Tuperiri.
In 1845 the Ngati Whatua, with the concurrence of representatives of the Waiohua people, sold a block of land which included One Tree Hill to a merchant, Thomas Henry. The Government under its pre-emptive rights excluded 115 acres of the hill itself from the sale and this was vested in the Crown. Known as One Tree Hill Domain, it is a public park.
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By Fiona Mackenzie