19 May 2011

Wellington council waiting for waka money

4:47 am on 19 May 2011

Wellington City Council has not received reimbursement from an iwi collective for a waka it commissioned.

The council and Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui agreed on 20 April that the Wellington collective could keep the canoe Te Raukura, in exchange for $150,000 to be paid within 28 days.

The runanga took possession of the canoe in 2006 when the council took it to Waiwhetu Marae in Hutt Valley to be repaired.

It says the council damaged the waka and said it would not release it until cultural safeguards were put on its care and use.

The runanga says it has not paid the money yet, because it never received an agreement from the council to sign.

The council says it is talking to its lawyers and is not ruling out court action.