23 May 2011

Dispute over waka resolved

6:22 pm on 23 May 2011

Waiwhetu Maori from the Hutt Valley have paid the Wellington City Council $150,000 to resolve their dispute over a waka.

In April, the council and Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui agreed the runanga could keep the waka Te Raukura in exchange for the payment.

The runanga gained possession of the canoe in 2006 when the council took it to Waiwhetu Marae to be repaired. It has refused to return it because it blames the council for the damage.

The chair of Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui, Neville Baker, says a trust will be established to care for the waka on behalf of all the people of Wellington Harbour.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she is pleased the dispute has been resolved.

A new waka has been commisioned for the wharewaka being built on Wellington's waterfront, which may be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup tournament beginning in September, she says.