July 02, 2013
Heke story questioned
Doubts are being raised about whether koiwi said to be the bones of Hone Heke do in fact belong to the Ngapuhi warrior chief.
Auckland man David Rankin claims he took the bones from a cave at Pakaraka two years ago.
He intends to rebury them in Kaikohe this month.
Erima Henare from Ngāti Hine says it’s good the bones will be again laid to rest, but the actual burial cave of Heke was sealed after an incident almost 40 years ago.
"Two young boys who were hitching on a cold, wet, stormy day went to shelter in a kahikatea grove just off the road at Pakaraka where Umutakiura is or the burial grounds for Hone Heke, and not long after one of them died and the other fellow, suspecting the fact that they had robbed that cave was the reason his friend had died, returned the tāonga – which included two mere – to Waitangi," he says.
Erima Henare says a hui of tribal elders including David Rankin’s father decided the cave should be sealed up with a boulder and concreted over.
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