11 Oct 2010

Deputy mayor to talk to iwi about attack on carvings

8:05 am on 11 October 2010

The Rotorua District Council will talk with local iwi this week to decide whether to replace significant Maori artwork destroyed last week.

A chainsaw was used on two recently-erected carved posts alongside State Highway 36 between Tauranga and Rotorua, on Thursday night or Friday morning.

The posts, called Pou, are owned by the council and represent two iwi from the area, Ngati Rangiwewehi and Ngai Te Rangi. They are owned by Rotorua District Council.

Ngati Rangiwewehi says the carvings were erected only 10 days ago and have now been returned to their respective iwi.

Deputy mayor Trevor Maxwell says he was horrified to hear of the vandalism and urgent decisions will have to be made with tribal elders about what to do about it.

Police have increased their patrols on other pou in the region.

'Attack on community'

Te Arawa says whoever deliberately damaged Maori art work near Rotorua, effectively attacked the whole community.

Te Arawa Lakes Trust chairman Toby Curtis says the vandalism is an attack on the good race relations which have been developed in this country.