November 06, 2018
Tūhourangi fights redress land grab
Two Te Arawa hapū are at loggerheads over settlement redress.
Tūhourangi says the crown's cultural redress offer to Ngāti Rangitihi includes Tūhourangi land around Mount Tarawara.
The iwi is seeking an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing to sort things out.
Tania Rangiheuea who is the lead researcher for the WAI 2771 claim says the iwi contested the area before the 1886 Tarawera Eruption, with Tūhourangi emerging the winner, confirmed in the Land Court at the time.
Now Rangitihi, which stood aside from the collective Te Arawa settlement, is using the negotiation process to assert mana whenua over an area where a few of its people once lived.
"If you have mana whenua you have to live on the land, you have to be able to defend the land, you have to have cultural sites of significance like pā site and mahinga kai, all of those things that reinforce your claim over the land. There were times when some Ngāti Rangitihi individuals were trying to gain entry into Tarawera land and they were strenuously opposed by Tūhourangi," Ms Rangiheuea says.
The crown wants to sign off the Ngāti Rangitihi settlement before the end of the year.
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