November 30, 2021
Slip threatens iwi history
Ngāi Tāmanuhiri has declared a rāhui over an area south of Gisborne affected by a massive landslip.
Trustee Raniera Procter says the slip after heavy rain at Whareongaonga has carried away urupā and wāhi tapu and put a valuable mahinga kai on the coast below off-limits.
It starts at the mothballed Gisborne to Wairoa railway line, and the iwi has asked Kiwirail for a meeting to discuss options, including returning the whenua.
The area is notable as the place Te Kooti landed when he returned from the Chatham Islands Wharekaura Rēkohu.
It’s also a gathering place for the tribes, which is why the iwi is trying to document the whenua with drone footage and the recording of kōrero and pūrakau.
“If the land is lost into the ocean we can still hold onto some of that kōrero because it is very important in the makeup of Te Tairawhiti. Whareongaonga really shapes the iwi in Turanga and then further north, that place being a real stronghold for a lot of tribes, so that kōrero needs to be documented and we are working hard and fast to do that,” Mr Proctor says.