Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Taniwha Tax: What you can do

Auckland council has an important vote tomorrow, and you can help sway it.

As you may know, when the council’s Unitary Plan was first released, around 3,600 large purple blobs were smeared across the map—each representing a “site” (said the council) that they had deemed “important” to Mana Whenua, with whom property-owners would be required to “consult” before doing anything more aggressive than mowing their lawn.


Which came as a surprise to many of the local iwi said to be affected, even though this didn’t stop some of them hatching plans for large fees for the necessary consultations and signatures land-owners might need under the Unitary Plan.

No wonder some groups started calling it a Taniwha Tax.

Around 3,600 of these sites were included in the Unitary Plan without any verification or compensation for the damage to property values of the 18,000 or so Auckland properties affected. Home-owners in Paritai Drive were among those who newspapers recently discovered were affected by a site of so-called importance, receiving headlines for being sent letters by Ngati Whatua claiming mana whenu status on the basis of the clifftop being the alleged site a losing battle some centuries ago.

Many of the sites had even less basis in fact than this one. Auckland’s Democracy Action group began photographing and verifying the sites — something the Council didn’t bother to do. What they discovered

is a Council that was protecting building foundations, car parks and even rubbish dumps, while forcing Auckland ratepayers to pay iwi groups to verify resource consents on matters which include the metaphysical (spiritual) concerns of the 18 recognised iwi groups.

That is the state of play up to now. But tomorrow,

the Council will vote on whether to remove 1,373 of the 3,600 deemed 'sites of value to mana whenua'. These are the provisions that are requiring some 18,000 Auckland property owners to check with iwi whether 'cultural impact assessments' are required when applying for a resource consent.

And what Democracy Action has done is make it easy for you to email your councillor and tell them to do their fricking job!

They have created a tool for you to email Len Brown and/or your local councillor: Take a moment to make your voice heard by clicking here.

Couldn’t be simpler, could it.

Do it. Do it now!


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