September 05, 2016
Te Hau ki Turanga kaitiaki treasure for tribe
Rongowhakaata will today lay to rest Rota Walter Waipara, who has been a major contributor to the East Coast tribe’s efforts to secure the return of the house Te Hau Ki Turanga from the national museum Te Papa.
Mr Waipara, a former museum staffer, was the kaitiaki for the house when it was moved from the Dominion Museum in the 1990s.
Lawyer Willie Te Aho, who is part of a group looking at ways to more the house back to the Gisborne area, says his depth of knowledge has been an invaluable asset to the iwi.
He ensured not only the Rongowhakaata connection to the whare was acknowledged but also that of other iwi.
"He was a stickler for making sure that the history was right, He was a stickler for the care of Te Hau Ki Turanga and he spent a predominant part of his life here in Te Whanganui a Tara and is well known to the local iwi here," he says.
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