January 11, 2017
Hapu get symbolic return of Hawkes Bay reserves
Four Department of Conservation reserves in northern Hawke’s Bay will be returned to their original hapu owners as a way to recognise their rangatiratanga over a wider area unjustly confiscated 150 years ago today.
The hapu represented by the Maungaharuru-Tangitu Trust will hold the reserves for a week and then gift them to all people of Aotearoa.
The crown says it’s a way to redress those grievances.
In the Maungaharuru-Tangitu Hapu Deed of Settlement, the Crown apologised for “the immense prejudice it inflicted on the hapu by the proclamation of a confiscation district”.
They represent vestiges of the native bush and wildlife that flourished in Hawke’s Bay in the 1800s.
Boundary Stream Mainland Island, Bellbird Bush, and the Opouahi Scenic Reserve are included in Poutiri Ao o Tane, an ecological and social project that began in 2011 to restore the cloak of Papatuanuku through intensive pest control and habitat restoration.
Species such as kiwi, kaka, kereru, and kokako have regained a foothold in this area, which also provides critical habitat for a wide range of native insects and plants.
Ngati Kurumokihi are the kaitiaki of these reserves and have cultural, spiritual, traditional, and historic associations with the environs, waters, associated land and flora and fauna.
The fourth reserve, Whakaari Landing Place on the coast, contains Whakaari, an iconic and significant pa of Ngati Marangatuhetaua (Ngati Tu), including Ngati Whakaari, and Ngai Te Ruruku (ki Tangoio).
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