In other words…pay the taniwha

Unsurprisingly Maori are upset over something that has the potential to fill their coffers with extortion payments…er…payments to the taniwha to appease the spirits.

Plans to drill for oil only 220 metres from the Egmont National Park boundary were described as desecration and a disgrace yesterday.

Commissioner Mick Lester was holding an independent hearing into Tag Oil’s application to drill up to eight wells at 1045 Rowan Rd, Mahoe.

If oil or gas is found, Tag Oil is proposing to use the site for production purposes, with associated pipelines, for up to 30 years.

However, several iwi are opposing the application to the Stratford District Council. Ngati Haua Whanui Inc, a subsidiary of Ngaruahine, said they were not properly consulted by Tag Oil over the proposed drillings.  

Omahuru Robinson, of Ngaruahine, said the mere thought that the proposal would allow the desecration of whenua, or land, to take place “at the back door” was an “absolute disgrace”.

“It discredits those who advocate or have approved this application to proceed,” Mr Robinson said.

“It’s inconceivable to mention the region of Taranaki without immediately thinking of Mt Taranaki.

“Ngaruahine have visited the proposed site and are astounded by the proximity to our mountain.”

Mr Robinson said the drilling would not be an issue if was 5000m away from the mountain.

“But this is the first time it has come so close to the mountain, and there are a lot of things they cannot quantify,” he said.

Missy Spooner, of Ngati Haua, said she could not bear to think of the potential desecration of Mt Taranaki.

A teary Spooner said when the mountain is desecrated, one is taking the “link out of the whakapapa, genealogy”.

Watch…they will come to an arrangement where the spirits will be satisfied with the sprinkling of coin into their pockets.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.