September 23, 2015
Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake still in the way of land grabbers
Greymouth Petroleum is in the Environment court in New Plymouth today trying to win permission to drill on a site opponents claim is the grave of Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake, who many call Taranaki's last paramount chief
Heritage New Zealand and Otaraua hapu have teamed up to fight the company.
Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki says Kingi’s opposition to further land sales in Waitara sparked the first Taranaki War of 1860.
She says 150 years later he is still in the way of oil drillers desperate to extract more of the land's natural resources.
Ms Bailey says the company has admitted in court that other possible sites had not been pursued because of expected opposition from residents of Tikorangi.
The company has put up consultant historian Buddy Mikaere to cast doubt on Otaraua’s story that Kingi’s body was secretly buried at the site to protect his bones from old enemies.
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