May 25, 2020
Ngāti Kuri pray for tourist respect
Country’s northernmost iwi wants the 300,000 people who visit Te Rerenga Wairua every year to treat it like a wāhi tapu.
Ngāti Kuri closed the road to Cape Reinga during the Level 4 lockdown, and won’t reopen until Friday, when the iwi will hold a ceremony to heal the area.
Chair Harry Burkhardt says for Māori it’s a connection point pack to Taputapu Ātea, to Rapanui and Hawaiki.
That connection needs to be reset for a post-COVID New Zealand.
"People are respectful of spiritual places and the ability for us to provide that appropriateness is part of this ongoing conversation. So if you go to India for example or when you go into a mosque or any of those places you take your shoes off, women put a scarf over the head. Those are the resets we want and for that place to be treated as wāhi tapu."
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