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Patricia Grace takes on RONS

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, April 1st, 2014 - 48 comments
Categories: activism, business, economy, Maori Issues, same old national, sustainability, transport - Tags:

I have enjoyed some of Patrica Grace’s novels.  The first one I read was Potiki back in the 80s.

Patricia Grace Potiki

Patricia Grace Potiki: from Te Ara

A review:

Plot Summary:
A Maori community on the coast of New Zealand is threatened by a land developer who wants to purchase the community property, move the community meeting hall, and construct many new buildings, including an “underwater zoo.” The story is told in several chapters that switch narrators.


She relates the growing concern the Maori have about developers coming into their land, and their quiet, concerted efforts to rebel. She details their successes and many painful failures in a sparse, simple prose. The book does not really have a true resolution; instead, Patricia Grace outlines the cultural differences that exist in New Zealand, and the uses and abuses of power, and how it can affect a people.

Very often fiction can predict or precede the reality: most often with science fiction.  The plot line for Potiki, though, was never very far from real life activities back when it was published.

Now Patricia Grace has taken a strong stand against the Transport Agency and the Crown, which are attempting to take her ancestral land.  It was wanted for part of the Kapiti Expressway. Andrea O’Neill reports in Stuff:

It could cost $16 million for the Transport Agency to avoid author Patricia Grace’s land in building the Kapiti Expressway, the Environment Court has been told.

Three days after the writer won a legal battle in the Maori Land Court to exclude her land from the expressway corridor, a separate objection she lodged began its two-day hearing yesterday.

Grace owns a 5770 square metre block of ancestral land in Waikanae that was once the site of Tuku Rakau agricultural village.

Its chief in the mid 19th century was Grace’s great-great-grandfather Wiremu Parata Te Kakakura, a Maori MP and one of the founders of present-day Waikanae.

The Transport Agency is seeking to compulsorily acquire 983sqm of the block to build the McKays Crossing to Peka Peka section of the expressway.


NZTA gave Grace only the options of selling all or part of her land, she said.

Grace would find it legally difficult to sell her land to anybody outside her family, yet the Crown seemed to have little regard for the legal protection of Maori freehold land, she said.

“The irony is we’re not allowed to disinherit our heirs but the Crown is allowed to disinherit our heirs. This is protection of the land for future generations.”

Of six routes considered for the expressway, the current option affected the smallest amount of Maori and waahi tapu (culturally significant) land, Parker said.

On Friday, the Maori Land Court upheld Grace’s application for her block to become a Maori reserve, which should protect it from expressway bulldozers.

It is yet to be seen whether that decision will stand up against the Environment Court ruling of Judge Craig Thompson and Environment Commissioners Kevin Prime and David Kernohan.

Generation Zero explains why the Kapiti expressway is bad for the local communities and the environment, and does nothing for the economy:

There was a strong public outcry against the Expressway. Residents and urban designers knew it would divide the community, enforce car use over other options, destroy 63 houses, affect 1350, and destroy a wetland and Maori Urupa (burial ground). The public outcry was so strong they made this documentary about it.

Then in 2012, Campbell live received incredible leaked information – an engineering report from BECA consultants projected that although the Kapiti Expressway cost $630 million, it would only deliver $126 million in benefits – a disastrously low benefit-cost ratio of 0.2, well below the threshold of one that’s normally required for NZTA to consider a project.

It’s 100% Possible for us to move beyond fossil fuels, and we need to get started today – yet our public transport systems, cycle networks and rail freight industry are all missing out on vital funding. Somehow, at the same time, we can afford to spend $630 million on an uneconomic motorway, where there are clearly better alternatives available.

The Transport Blog,October 2012, reports on the Campbell Live Report.

Joyce Roadfather

Joyce Roadfather: From Transport Blog


TVNZ Te Karere, November 2013.  The video includes a bit about Patricia Grace’s, at that time, up-coming case to be heard at the Maori Land Court (Non-Maori speakers; there is a button at the bottom of the video to turn English captions on).

Published on Nov 14, 2013

The Supreme Court has dismissed the Takamore Trust’s appeal to stop the Kapiti Expressway from being built through their sacred lands. Now it looks as though the trust will have to work with the NZ Transport Association in order for their concerns to be heard in the process.



48 comments on “Patricia Grace takes on RONS”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    National: Destroying our economy and cultural heritage for their own aggrandisement in concrete and their road lobby mates.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Not just aggrandisement, material benefits in the form of political donations and company directorships.

    • Chooky 1.2

      +100…..and Patricia Grace is not the only person who is affected by this motorway. There are others who have had their businesses and properties destroyed and been very badly treated without compensation and protracted and unfair negotiations like cat and mouse games …it is a scandal!…i would not be surprised if it has caused the deaths of some of the people affected

      ….and the road is not necessary ….and it will be an eyesore….tourism out the window along with the aesthetics and cultural heritage of that coastline.

      … it only benefits property developers who have links with Nact

      • srylands 1.2.1

        What crap. The road will provide enormous benefits locally, and nationally. New Zealand’s roads a re a disgrace. We have less than 200km of motorways in a country with high dependency on motor vehicles. By comparison South Korea has more than 4,000 km.

        You people have clearly never sat in a traffic jam from Raumati South to Otaki. It is untenable that we have a major transport artery going through towns.

        We should be planning now for a motorway from Wellington to Auckland. I will be working to make that a National Party commitment for the 2017 election. We should also urgently be expanding the Wellington Urban Motorway from 6 lanes to 8 lanes to ameliorate downstream congestion after Transmission Gully is completed.

        Anyway, it is a barren argument. The Kapiti “Expressway” is well underway. It is not going to be stopped.

        On the central premise of the article, last time I checked Maori owned land was not exempt from acquisition under the PWA.

        • Chooky

          you are a petrol head….i bet you sniff it too

        • weka

          “You people have clearly never sat in a traffic jam from Raumati South to Otaki.”

          What kind of road is that? Workers commuting?

          The solution to what are are naming is better public transport, getting trucks off the road, and re-organising society so that we don’t have to travel so much. Myself, I’d get rid of a big chunk of the million tourists a year too 😈 If you think this all sounds too hard or effort in the wrong direction consider not only the cultural issues, but the the need for a low carbon society in a world facing AGW/PO/GFC. Less traffic has so many additional benefits that its kind of retarded to be arguing for more traffic in this day and age.

          The PWA is an issue. At the moment the Maori Land Court has said no to the sale. If the Environment Court agrees with that, it will be interesting to see NACT/Key override another set of democratic structures within NZ, such as they are. Would be interested to see an opinion from someone who knows the law better.

          • Chooky

            …all they need to do is upgrade the rail commuting service to Otaki and Palmerston North ….instead they are talking of stopping the rail commuting service to Palmerston North altogether !

        • Draco T Bastard

          The road will provide enormous benefits locally, and nationally.

          Yeah, because a Benefit/Cost ratio of 0.2 is just so bloody good. /sarc

          We have less than 200km of motorways in a country with high dependency on motor vehicles.

          Having more motorways isn’t a sign of societal good health. In fact, it’s a sign that the society is failing as it builds the least efficient mode of transport over the most efficient just so that it can boost profits to the rich.

          On the central premise of the article, last time I checked Maori owned land was not exempt from acquisition under the PWA.

          Last time I checked, the PWA doesn’t apply if there’s a better option – which there is as not building it is a better option. The government does, after all, have to prove that it needs the land and it actually doesn’t.

        • Shona

          What drivel you write srylands. Traffic in Raumati ? FFS Wellington and it’s region is hicksville. There are f**kall people there.We do get a few real traffic jams in Auckland where there is a noticeable number of people in cars. The problem is the lack of alternative transport i.e. rail that has caused the supposed congestion you witter on about. Clearly you haven’t scoffed your anti delusional meds today! Motorway between Auckland and Wellington. pfft! As if! You are a nutbar!

        • thatguynz

          What an absolute pile of drivel. I am a Kapiti Coast local and short of Friday afternoons and public holidays, there is very little motorway congestion – certainly far from what you see further south around Ngauranga Gorge and what is experienced in Auckland. In actual fact the traffic volumes along SH1 in Kapiti have been steadily declining which makes an absolute mockery of the “RONS” and possibly deflates the 0.2 Cost/Benefit ratio further.

          There is no economic benefit to the road whatsoever – it is being constructed purely to placate National voters such as yourself and the roading lobby. Nothing more. It should have stayed as the original council plan intended – a local link road to Waikanae which in turn (if it was required) would have removed local traffic off SH1.

  2. s y d 2

    ask yourself what is at the end of the road and who has bought what lies there?

    • Chooky 2.1

      Labour should call the whole thing off!

      ….just think how much money they would save!…. if they ditched the stupid motorways… which no one wants ….except srylands and other NACT cronies with vested interests

      …it would be a real vote winner!…Labour could put it into retirement at 65…another vote e winner!

  3. Philj 3

    The regular public electrified passenger service stops at Waikanae, due to lack if funding. Trucking lobby takes precedence over public transport, at huge cost to the public and the environment.

  4. TightyRighty 4

    ever driven through there? the roads are a disgrace, it needs to be fixed. not just so people can get up the coast, but so that essential industries can move their products to the nearest port. patricia grace may have found money and a nice lifestyle, but the horowhenua and manawatu can use all the help they can get. if part of that help is a new road to wellington, why should one obstinate writer be able to dictate her world view over the wishes of the rest of the community?

    • karol 4.1

      Did you read the generation zero article linked from my post? It explains how there was a betetr alternative.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Of course he didn’t, Tighty doesn’t like facts that contradict him.

    • Macro 4.2

      “so that essential industries can move their products to the nearest port”

      Ever heard of railways?

      But of course not – those are things that other people travel on…

  5. Populuxe1 5

    Very pleased for Patricia and her whanau

  6. Tracey 6

    but but but srylands needs it to get to his imaginary bach from his imaginary job in wellington.

    i like generation zero. just saying

    • srylands 6.1

      It is not a bach. I live there you stupid cow.

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        But you live in australia…

        • Tracey

          his imaginary holiday home must be in australia… and he is name calling which he says he doesnt do cos he doesnt care enough about this stuff. he also calls other people rude for name calling.

      • Tracey 6.1.2

        sorry. srylands needs to get to his imaginary house from his imaginary job in wellington. fify

        • Chooky

          ‘he’ could be a ‘her’….i think it is a ‘she’

          • Tracey

            then srylands is a lesbian. srylands claims his wife was a greenie and thats how srylands knew that rob donald was spinning in his grave… all imaginary of course

            • Chooky

              agreed sryslands is a spinner …but methinks a female spinner with big business connections…a jet setter with a ‘bach’ up the coast

            • BM

              Rod Donald.

              • Tracey

                i stand corrected bm.

                and you had him spinning in his grave too… a day or two after srylands had him spinning.

                • BM

                  It was interesting, I went and checked just to make sure it was Rod and came across this page.


                  I didn’t really agree with the Mans politics but I did admire what he did, he certainly walked the walk when it came to environmental matters and I admire him for that.

                  The Greens these days are a feeble shadow of what they were, they’re nothing but the Alliance in green clothing.

                  • Chooky

                    you wish

                  • felix

                    “The Greens these days are a feeble shadow of what they were”

                    You hated them then, you hate them now, and you’ll hate them tomorrow.

                    You’re of no interest in any conversation about the Greens.

            • srylands

              Tracey you are a fool. I worked with Rod Donald while you were still pashing bogans in a drunken stupor in your Hamilton basement. You haven’t changed.

              • weka

                “I worked with Rod Donald”

                Doing what?

              • felix

                I didn’t know Rod worked at The Lie Factory.

              • Murray Olsen

                I’m just making an educated guess here, but I think you’d be better off seeking help for your problems. You show the symptoms of amphetamine or cocaine abuse, where you have two distinct personalities depending on your intake. It would also explain your delusions of grandeur.

      • bad12 6.1.3

        You are a nasty little Nazi SSLands, an exhibition of your true self can be found contained in the last 6 words of that comment…

      • felix 6.1.4

        No you don’t live there srylands. You have previously stated that where you live, GST is 10% i.e. either you live in Australia or you are a visitor from another temporal dimension.

        This is the trouble with using so many different handles, inventing so many characters, and telling so many lies. Eventually you will lose track of what you have said, and as whom.

  7. TightyRighty 7

    @karol, yes I did. It’s obviouy wrong though. But it’s useful idiot type propaganda for those who hate roads

    @macro there is already rail from palmy to Wellington. Regular and well used rail. But it doesn’t work for everyone or every business. But people should take it because you say so right? Remove the option of the road to suit your world view. Selfish prick

    • srylands 7.1

      The train from Palmerston North to Wellington is great. For people who need to arrive in Wellington at 8.15am and leave again at 5.15pm, and who have business within walking distance of Wellington railway station.

      The Kapiti trains are excellent, but door to door they are slower and less convenient than a car. Unless you are forced to travel in peak hours when the train is better – but that is because the roads are fucked.

      On any objective indicator, New Zealand has under invested in roads since the 1970s.

      I don’t get this Green hatred of roads. Most high performing countries have good roads and good PT. I think part of it is a Green hatred of personal freedom. That hatred spills over into transport policy.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        On any objective indicator my subjective and ignorant belief, New Zealand has under invested in roads since the 1970s.


      • weka 7.1.2

        “I think part of it is a Green hatred of personal freedom.”

        Don’t be fucking stupid. It’s because the high value on individual car ownership comes at the cost of many other things that lots of people consider more valuable. Plus the little matter of the need to shift to a low carbon state.

        “The train from Palmerston North to Wellington is great. For people who need to arrive in Wellington at 8.15am and leave again at 5.15pm, and who have business within walking distance of Wellington railway station.”

        That’s a public transport issue waiting to be solved.

  8. bad12 8

    This might just get very ‘hot’ very quick, we aren’t just talking Patricia Grace here, even just considering the family name we are talking of a family with a large and diverse range of connections across the motu,

    The Marae connections are even larger and should the Enviroment Court in all its ummm ‘wisdom’ attempt to override the Waitangi Tribunal i should imagine that we might be seeing the genesis of another ‘Bastion Point’ with a probability of a x10 in the level of militancy exhibited by the whanau,hapu and all the Marae in the lower North Island,

    By the way, nice pic of Hongoeka on the books cover, that small Marae, mostly unnoticed, connects directly to Toa Ranagtira o Takupawahia and from there to every Marae in the lower North Island and upper South Island…

    • karol 8.1

      Ah. Thanks for the info, bad. I didn’t know that about the possible impact of the wide connections. Nor did I know that about the image on the book cover.

    • Chooky 8.2

      @ bad12 …i hope it does get “very ‘hot’ very quick, we aren’t just talking Patricia Grace here”….i think this issue would win a lot of support with Maori leading the charge

      …it is a beautiful scenic road ….why sacrifice it for a few Nact crony developers, who will wreck the charm of that area anyway?

      …it is time we stood up for the environment and rail and public transport as they do in other small scenic countries like Switzerland

      ….. these Nact motorways are enormously expensive and only add to NZ’s rising debt in a time when
      petrol and oil costs are rising ( what is more toll roads are exploitative of the ordinary New Zealander and restrict their freedom of movement)

      ….it is a no brainer like most of Nact policies based on cronyist greed

  9. bad12 9

    Lolz Karol, you could say i am full of it, ‘it being home turf to me i know a lot of the family,(although cannot ever remember Patricia),

    Of course the whanau connections spread even further afield, Tariana Turia through Ngati Toa, two of my nieces connected through aunty Tariana and the list goes on into an infinity that would take a 1000 people each reciting a different whakapapa weeks to explain,

    Looking directly across the Porirua Harbor from Hongoeka is Whitireia once a thriving fortified Pa, the particular block of land given to the Church early in the piece on the understanding that a school for the locals was to be built there arrived in the hands of the Crown by the usual dubious means,

    Way befor the more famous events of Bastion Point this land was given back to Ngati Toa who then immediately ‘gifted’ it as a National park, definitely not of an equal with the likes of Ruapehu in terms of magic vistas, its significance to the locals tho was even understood by the likes of Muldoon at the time…

  10. off_with_your_head 10

    I fail to see why we should be celebrating inheritance by birth.

    Make your own way in the world, parasites.

    Estate tax of 100% is the way forward, including Maori land.

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