May 27, 2020
Tribunal slams housing development on urupā
Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable trust hopes a scathing Waitangi Tribunal finding marks the end of a development on a historically significant burial ground at Waikanae.
The tribunal’s report released today found a systematic lack of crown protection led to the development and desecration of Kārewarewa Urupā.
Trust chair Andre Baker says not only were iwi members upset at having ancestors dug up, but many residents sought spiritual support from kaumātua when they discovered they were living on a cemetery.
He says the original claimant, Paora Ropata, who died last year, had presented evidence of the illegal exhumation of kōiwi tangata, or skeletal remains, of 11 individuals in 2000.
The developers are still trying to complete the block.
Te Ātiawa wants the Minister of Culture and Heritage to take up the tribunal’s recommendations, including to amending legislation and addressing systemic issues with Heritage New Zealand processes.
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