Posted on July 20, 2022
Ngai Te Rangi is threatening to blockade Tauranga Harbour if the Port of Tauranga goes ahead with a massive dredging plan.
The iwi is heading for the Environment Court to fight a resource consent for the work issued by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, which owns more than half the port shares.
Chief executive Paora Stanley says Ngai Te Rangi’s challenge against a similar consent a decade ago failed, but everything the iwi warned would happen to the harbour has come to pass.
He’s been trying since the start of the year to find an out-of-court solution, but the company has been unwilling to engage.
“We understand commerce. The Tauranga Māori economy is worth about $2 billion – $1 billion of that is tied up in horticulture. We have a vested interest but we are not going to let it slide when the environment suffers just for business, including our own,” Mr Stanley says.
Ngai Te Rangi is also preparing a claim for the Waitangi Tribunal on the obligations of the regional council and the port company.