April 23, 2014
Iwi fret about house delay
East Coast iwi Rongowhakaata is concerned the crown is reneging on a promise to return their meeting house.
Te Hau ki Turanga is the oldest extant wharenui, being built in 1842 by Raharuhi Rukupo as a memorial to his tuakana, Tamati Waka Mangere, who signed the Treaty of Waitangi on the tribe’s behalf.
It was looted by the crown from Manutuke in 1857 and is now in Te Papa Tongarewa.
Negotiator Willie Te Aho says if the wharenui is to be in place for the 250 years commemorations of Cook’s landing in 1769, the $30 million project to move it needs to start now.
He says even though wharenui now belongs to the Rongowhakaata Settlement Trust, the national museum has posession until March 2017.
He says the iwi have been unable to secure any commitment for action from either the Office of Treaty Settlements or the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
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