September 26, 2018
Unmarked graves spark tikanga hui
Problems with burials on the main Waikato Tainui urupā has sparked a two-day hui on burial practices.
Brad Totorewa from Ngaa Marae Toopu says last weekend’s hui drew about 100 people to Taupiri Marae in the shadow of the sacred maunga.
It covered a wide range of issues, from wills to inquests to specific tikanga, and included input from kaumatua, coroners, undertakers and gravediggers.
He says trustees of Taupiri Maunga were concerned at what was happening with the bodies of people who died of transmittable illnesses.
"They return in the casket enclosed in a plactic bag and one of the problems we've had on Taupiri is some of our whanau not recording the place of burial. There is a scare that in the future if you are digging a new hole and you accidentally break open a casket that contains a tupapku died of could be AIDs or any other disease, pops open the bag, what is our ture? What do we do?" Mr Totorewa says.
While it’s important rituals around death are handled right, the safety of the living is critical.
Ngaa Marae Toopu plans further hui on burial rituals.
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