25 Jun 2013

Rotorua mayor offers support to hapu

7:18 pm on 25 June 2013

Rotorua district mayor, Kevin Winters, is offering to advocate for local hapu who fear their traditional lands could be desecrated by a city road project.

The Transport Agency proposes that a new route - called the Rotorua Eastern Arterial - will run from the city's airport, close to Lake Rotorua towards the city.

On Monday, three hapu including Ngati Hurunga Te Rangi, marched to the district council to re-enforce their opposition to the plan.

Mr Winters says he has asked to walk with them along the proposed route so he can see the places such as urupa and sacred sites they care about.

He says if hapu agree, he would like to take Rotorua Council staff, as well as officials from the Transport Agency with him on the walk so they can get an understanding of the sub-tribes' hurt and anger.