Mysterious taiaha withdrawn from TradeMe

6:19 pm on 10 March 2016

The mysterious taiaha with links to the Māori King Movement has been withdrawn from a TradeMe auction by its seller.

Treasured taiaha for sale on TradeMe: RNZ Checkpoint

Treasured taiaha for sale on TradeMe: RNZ Checkpoint Photo: RNZ / YouTube

The seller claimed it once belonged to the second Māori King Tāwhiao but the King Movement said that has not been established and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage has also been inquiring into the claim.

The taiaha, which has been declared a tāonga tūtūru or a genuine Māori artefact, has disappeared from TradeMe after it created a furore following claims it belonged to prophet and king Tāwhiao.

The move has pleased the King Movement, with spokesman Rahui Papa satisfied with the result.

"I'm just glad they've come to their senses," he said.

"I think the provenance has proved dubious at best and the seller understands that."

But the seller has used a Trade Me thread to speak out about the claims, saying the taiaha has a Certificate of Authentication and has been registered with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

However, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage does not register such items - its role is to determine if an item meets the definition of taonga tuturu under the Protected Objects Act.