21 Oct 2011

New wharewaka no good for hui - elders

6:27 am on 21 October 2011

Elders from a Wellington-based Taranaki tribal collective are arguing a hui should not be held at the new Te Wharewaka o Poneke, on the capital's waterfront - because it's not a marae.

Taranaki Whanui kaumatua have called on the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust to move Saturday's Trust review meeting to Waiwhetu Marae in the Hutt Valley.

They say Te Wharewaka o Poneke is not a Taranaki Whanui owned tupuna, (ancestral) marae.

Elders say the Trust Deed states "the review must be held in terms of tikanga of Taranaki Whanui".

Kaumatua say five review hui have been advertised - in Wellington, Auckland, Napier, Palmerston North and New Plymouth - and none of the meetings are being held on marae.

Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui chair Dr Kara Puketapu says it's incumbent on the Trust to ensure culturally appropriate venues are selected, and the maximum number of Taranaki Whanui beneficiaries are able to attend.

He says Te Wharewaka o Poneke is inappropriate because it lacks a cultural connection, and most of the people belonging to the iwi collective live in the greater Hutt Valley region - Te Awakairangi.