11 Nov 2011

Council to have formal understanding with iwi

6:31 am on 11 November 2011

Rotorua District Council says it's drawing up a memorandum of understanding with Ngati Pikiao - so it doesn't repeat the same mistake and chop down a sacred Te Arawa tree.

The Mangeao tree, named after a Ngati Pikiao tipuna, stood on the side the highway between Rotorua and Tauranga - not far from Okere Falls.

The council felled the tree, which was not registered as a sacred site, because it was a roadside hazard.

Kaupapa Maori director Mauriora Kingi says the council is saddened by the mistake.

He says a positive to emerge from the error is a memorandum of understanding to be drawn up so Ngati Pikiao will be advised before certain council work is carried out in the tribe's rohe.