January 08, 2017
Te Arawa seeks place in Hauraki settlement
Te Arawa kaumatua Sir Toby Curtis says a problem with protecting a waahi tapu in another tribal area needs to be fixed by elders from the tribes rather than lawyers.
The iwi is concerned a settlement with Hauraki will upset long-standing arrangements around the burial place of Tama Te Kapua, the captain of Te Arawa waka, on the top of Mount Moehau on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Sir Toby says while that particular wahi tapu comes under a 439 Trust that includes a Te Arawa representative, there are other ancestors buried on nearby Department of Conservation land.
Under the proposed Pare Hauraki settlement, the mountain will be vested in Hauraki.
Sir Toby says the people doing the negotiations may not have a full appreciation of Te Arawa’s connections not just to Moehau but also to particular Hauraki iwi.
For example Ngati Maru made land available for people from Tuhourangi to live after the 1886 Tarawera eruption.
The land was developed into a farm and returned to Ngati Maru a generation or two later.
He says Te Arawa is seeking guaranteed access to its sacred places on the mountain.
He hopes a meeting can be arranged this month.
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