21 Jan 2013

Iwi cooperate on useful bone, teeth from whale

7:34 pm on 21 January 2013

Talks between neighbouring iwi have started over what to do with some of the skeletal remains of a sperm whale that washed up on the Kapiti Coast last week.

The Department of Conservation said it appeared the whale found on Paraparaumu Beach last Wednesday died of natural causes.

Before its burial, local iwi removed the jawbone and other culturally significant parts of the whale, which they named Te Uruhi after a local creek - close to where the mammal was found.

Ngati Toa and Atiawa ki Whakarongotai held a hui at the weekend.

A kaumatua at the meeting, Nelson Solomon, says the hui was clear that the top job right now is to clean the remains.

"We'll get the bones as clean as we can, and then we'll put them in a nice place in the sea where the creatures of the sea can do the best cleaning," he says.

Mr Solomon says cleaning will get underway from Thursday.