December 30, 2014
Whakakoro in Te Rarawa hands
Far north iwi Te Rarawa has used some of its treaty settlement putea to buy back the contested Whangape Station.
The sale of the 840 hectare farm by the Geddes family back in 1992 sparked a protest and occupation by the Ngati Haua hapu, because it included many blocks that locals had assumed were still in Maori ownership.
Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi says it could not be included in the treaty settlement because it was in private hands, but it was of significance to the iwi.
It will be renamed Whakakoro after its sacred mountain, where the ancestor Ueoneone summoned a manu to travel to Tainui and return with Reipai and Reitu, the ancestors of local hapu Ngati Haua and their Ngapuhi neighbours.
Mr Piripi says there was nothing in the settlement package in the Ngati Haua era, and he hopes the hapu will eventually be able to take equity in what should be a profitable farming operations.
It will be managed in a joint operation with Te Rarawa’s other farms.
"This farm also takes up the whole peninsula, so whoever owns it controls the takutai moana," Mr Piripi says.
He says once the previous owners, the Van den Brink Group, understood the importance of the land to Ngati Haua they were keen to facilitate the sale.
The group had bought the land at a mortgagee sale after grandiose development plans by the previous owner fell through.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com