by John Robinson

We have all received a notice about “Proposed Plan Change 2 to the Operative Kapiti Coast District Plan 2021”.  This includes a seemingly innocuous proposal to “provide for tangata whenua to develop papakainga housing developments”.  This includes papakainga on ‘general title land’.  

Here the select group, the tangata whenua, are members of Ngati Toa, Ngati Raukawa (Nga Hapu o Otaki) and Te Atiawa. IPI, page 58, online here

I have voiced my opposition to this division of New Zealanders into two races, as with a submission to the Council last year (‘Let us be one people’, Waikanae Watch April 15, 2021).  I have also pointed out that this group are only 4% of the Kapiti population, a minority of Maori (‘The extraordinary power of 4% in Kapiti’, Waikanae Watch May 24, 2021).  I will not make a submission this time as there was, and is, no interest.  The Council looks the other way while our once united society is ripped apart, acting here to extend the differences.

These papakainga are a taonga (whatever that is; the meaning of that word has changed completely since 1840, when it was ‘property taken at the point of a tao, a spear’), to be “developed and used in accordance with tikanga Maori” (IPI 1.17).  Here is a loosening of planning requirements to suit whatever is judged to be tikanga, noting that “papakainga may develop their own tikanga”.  This tikanga is certainly not the traditional way of life, with raupo huts, no running water, no sewage scheme or electricity.  It is a newly invented notion, and the developers are set free to do whatever they wish, to define their own, separate, rules.

Anyway, why all this fuss over these tangata whenua, whose ancestors simply came in the 1820s and 1830s to kill those living here and steal their land?  Those others, whose ancestors had in turn lived in Kapiti previously, are given no recognition for their “whakapapa, ancestral attachment to the land”.  Nor should they be; we should all be equal.  If there is a better way of doing things, why not apply that to all?  If regulations can be eased without any harm, why not for all?  If the regulation make sense and are reasonable, why not ask all to follow the same rules?

Others are affected by these new regulations.  There are impacts on surrounding residents, such as requirements for “a lower level of development to occur adjacent to marae” (IPI 6.1), “seeking to avoid building that overlook the marae” or “that further obstruct views from the marae to the Tararua Ranges” (IPI 6.6).

There is also an added wahanga rua site (land “scheduled as waahi tapu and other places or areas of significance to Maori”) on an area roughly south of the Waimana lagoons, including many residential properties, where there will be limits to gardening, basements, allotments and subdivision permitted to those living there. (IPI 21.7 and final page).

Across the country, here as elsewhere, this division of New Zealanders, and co-governance, are creating confusion, making a mess of our system of government, dividing people off and providing many small pockets of pseudo government, no longer part of the nation.  The movement towards apartheid is alive and well, thriving in Kapiti. 

Those responsible are first and foremost the majority of New Zealanders who allow it to happen.  Will any candidate for the coming elections speak out?