Hapu Culture Important – Letter to Editor

I am now beginning to understand Sarah Taylor’s concerns about the HB Regional Planning Committee. In her letter Regional Decision Making it is clear that she considers hapu to be private entities. This is the argument she uses to justify her fears of where a hapu’s priorities lie. Fears are based on experiences. If we were to consider a hapu’s culture to be the same as a pakeha private entity’s culture then she might have a point.

Waitangi-2However nothing could be further from the truth. The hapu committees that I have come in to contact with are very conscious of Maori cultural values. About whanau taking precedence over profit. They have been run on the smell of an oily rag by volunteers and supporters. Given that Maori see the environment as part of their whanau I have more confidence in their motivations than I do with elected politicians, many who suffer from short term self interest.

I suppose this is where Sarah Taylor and I are always going to disagree. Such is life. One of the things we should all recognise is that hapu are welcoming. That’s because they are responsible to their whanau, not shareholders. Something which makes them culturally different from anything most pakeha have experienced.

I would also point out that there are no Iwi appointees to the committee, and that the Bill is now law. So we need to accept that what is to be will be and just get on with living with each other.

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