A number of aging colonial design huts in Te Urewera have been earmarked for demolition in a plan by Tūhoe Settlement Entity, Te Uru Taumatua and the Department of Conservation. Photo / RNZ
By Wena Harawira from Maori television
The Tūhoe settlement entity, Te Uru Taumatua, says responding to a High Court order to stop the demolition of Te Urewera huts could cost $200,000.
On November 9, the High Court in Rotorua ordered an immediate halt to the destruction of 48 huts following an application by Wharenui Clyde Tuna of Tūhoe, who was concerned about the loss of access to use the huts “as a base for food collection, leisure and recreation.cultural purposes”. He said Te Uru Taumatua had failed to consult on his plan.
Judge Mark Woolford granted the order and said a hearing on the issues was necessary. However, no date has been set.
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In his December e-pānui to iwi beneficiaries, Te Uru Taumatua said he had spent $20,000 responding to the injunction requests and estimated the process could cost $200,000, a budget he intended to allocate know how to build transitional huts.
It wrote that since Te Urewera became a legal entity in 2013, the Crown had contributed $8.87 million or an average of $1.3 million annually to the maintenance of the area, but this was less than the Department of Conservation (DoC) used to spend on. Urewera National Park – approximately $6 million to $8 million year.
Te Urewera’s board contributed $6.63 million of the $15.51 million spent over the past seven years on cabin maintenance, pest control, signs, tracks, visitor operations, human resources and workforce development, financial systems, asset management, equipment and vehicles .
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It is claimed that DoC was “not keen to shift responsibility and authority to Tūhoe for Te Urewera” and Tūhoe is with a “75-year DoC-Crown legacy that was not intended by the 2013 treaty settlement”.
Te Uru Taumatua also said that DoC had rejected cooperation to establish the systems, capacity and infrastructure needed to implement the Te Urewera Act, according to the pānui.
DoC was approached for a response to the claims made by Te Uru Taumatua.