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Mount Maunganui marae told there’s no quick fix in battle to have neighbouring heavy industry scaled back

Community at Whareroa Marae in Mount Maunganui says there’s no quick fix as they battle for neighbouring heavy industry to be scaled back.

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Locals say pollution from the industrial zone is making whānau at the marae sick. Source: 1 NEWS

Locals say pollution from the industrial zone is making whanau sick and after a year of asking, they finally got a sit down with Minister for Māori Development and Associate Environment Minister Nanaia Mahuta about the issue.

Heavy industry has built up around the marae for decades.

"We want our kids to get off the devices and get outside there and run around, jump on the trampoline but when they do, we know we are sending our kids out to be poisoned," Whareroa Marae spokesman Joel Ngatuere told 1 NEWS.

"The longer everyone keeps on talking and getting no action, the longer we keep getting sick."

The minister says there is no magic wand.

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Whareroa Marae says heavy industry is making them sick and they were left bitterly disappointed when Nanaia Mahuta pulled out of a hui today. Source: 1 NEWS

"You guys aren't going anywhere, industry benefits from working with you so we just have to have the right conversation,” Mahuta said.

There were signs of some progress at today’s meeting, but iwi made their stance clear: they want heavy industry relocated.

Local councils are investigating the feasibility of a managed retreat, but whānau now want a royal commission.

The minister believes a case study might be more appropriate.

"There are some unique factors impacting on Whareroa that I don't think many marae would have to experience or endure so there is merit trying to work through some substantial issues here,” Mahuta said.

This small but vocal community say regardless of who is in power after the election, they expect some help.