January 14, 2020
Bureacracy stymies Owairaka walk
Auckland’s Tūpuna Maunga Authority has vetoed a storytelling walk on Ōwairaka Mount Albert this Thursday evening to share some of the narratives held by mana whenua iwi.
A three-day wānanga was held on the mountain over the weekend backed by the Honour the Maunga protest group in which Pouroto Ngaropo from Bay of Plenty iwi Ngāti Awa gave his view the volcanic cone is named after the Ngāti Awa ancestress Wairaka – a view that is contested by some iwi in Tāmaki Makaurau.
However, yesterday authority manager Nick Turoa informed storyteller Pita Turei his Walking around Te Wai o Rakataura event could not go ahead because it did not have a permit.
The event was organised by Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Art Gallery last year, and the authority did not respond when it was informed of it in early December.
In an email, Mr Turoa said the gallery could apply for a permit which would take up to 20 days to process, but it would recommend an alternate site be considered “given the current issues on Ōwairaka as health and safety of visitors will be a consideration of the authority when assessing the application."
Mike George, the manager for communications and partnerships, co-governance at Auckland Council, said there was no permit issued for Mr Pouroto’s wānanga.
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