May 02, 2014
Rongowhakaata eye whare options
East Coast iwi Rongowhakaata has been told it could cost up to $30 million to move the country’s oldest meeting house back to the rohe.
Te Hau ki Turanga was confiscated by the Crown from the Ngati Kaipoho hapu in Manutuke in 1867.
It now sits in Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, but ownership has been returned to the iwi as part of its treaty settlement.
Negotiator Willie Te Aho says the iwi has received a feasibility report outlining a range of options, from leaving it in the national museum to bringing it back to a specially-built facility on railway land at Gisborne that is being returned to the iwi.
He says that’s the option he would like to see the Minister for Treaty Negotiations deliver on.
"Chris Finlayson made a promise to (the late Te Tairawhiti MP) Parekura Horomia to not only return the house but return the house to a facility worthy of that taonga," Mr Te Aho says.
The future of Te Hau ki Turanga will be discussed at a hui a iwi in the whare on May 9.
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