“We made a national park disappear” are the words of the Te Urewera chairman, Tamati Kruger – or as his iwi call him, King Tut. Kruger’s triumph is an ominous portent to the consequences of the co-governance concept which the Ardern government champions. THOMAS CRANMER writes –
The High Court ruling last week that ordered an immediate halt to the burning of the huts in Te Urewera revealed some astonishing detail about what has gone wrong with the co-governance arrangements that were agreed in 2014.
The principal iwi negotiator for Tūhoe at the time was Tamati Kruger. Since then, he has gone on to be the chairman of Te Uru Taumatua (TUT), the Tūhoe governance body for Te Urewera. Kruger is a divisive figure – even within Tūhoe. In fact, the applicant for the emergency injunction to stop the huts being destroyed – Wharenui Clyde Tuna – is Tūhoe himself.
One of the revelations to emerge from last week’s injunction was that the Department of Conservation and TUT had not agreed their annual operational plan as required by the Te Urewera Act. That is primarily down to the fact that Kruger – the Tūhoe strongman installed by John Key’s government – has refused to engage with the department for the last two years. Continue reading “THOMAS CRANMER: King Tut – the Tuhoe strongman who boasts of the National Park that disappeared”