It is a matter of concern to me, though no great surprise, that two years since Te Oneroa a Tohe Beach Board was formed we still do not have a beach management plan.
No surprise because the board is founded on two faulty premises. Premise number one: our local iwi are capable of working together. Premise two: something involving the government will be trusted and entered into with full endorsement by local Maori.
Anyone with any experience of local iwi will tell you that it would take an act of divine intervention for all local iwi to agree on anything and work together. Any attempt to overlook that is fraught from the kickoff.
Secondly, government involvement with something as important to Maori as the preservation of Te Oneroa a Tohe will inevitably arouse suspicion and anger.
I think the board are to be congratulated for having achieved anything, given these difficulties. I am especially impressed to hear they have put out a tender for a scope plan (what have we got and what are we going to do with it?)
But once that is in, FNDC needs to play a smarter hand and divide up the management of the beach among the iwi, each iwi taking care of its own reserve. (We all know what a magnificent job Te Rarawa do with their reserve).
So once the research has been complete, enough of this time-consuming, money-consuming beach board. Let each iwi take care of its own reserve.
I am minded of a story Mihaka Morgan once shared. One of the first New Zealand movies made involved a scene on Lake Taupo. They hired locals and put them randomly in waka, and it was an unco-ordinated shambles until someone suggested to the director the waka should be manned along iwi lines.
That being done, those waka took off across the lake like rockets.