December 02, 2018
Tauranga land grab apology due
The Anglican Church is being challenged to apologise and make reparations to Tauranga Moana hapū for its role in the alienation of their land.
In 1838 the Church Missionary Society bought Te Papa, the 1333-acre peninsula where Tauranga now stands, from Ngāi Tamarāwaho and Ngāti Tapu.
It held the land in a trust until 1866 when it handed it over to the crown.
In a discussion paper for Christian roopu Te Kohinga and the Otamataha Trust, which represents the hapū, Alistair Reese from the University of Otago’s Centre for Theology and Public Issues says the apology should cover not only the historic actions but also acknowledge the church has been silent for generations about the historic injustices.
The church still has land at the site of Otamataha Pā on Cliff Road overlooking the harbour that could be returned.
Dr Reese says the kaupapa could be a test case for non-Crown entities, including churches and councils.
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