28 Jan 2013

Maori want progress on Banks Peninsula reserve plan

9:32 am on 28 January 2013

Maori on Banks Peninsula are keen to see progress made on the preparation of a management plan for the historic Takapuneke reserve near Akaroa.

At a meeting in December, the Christchurch City Council voted to accept a council-commissioned conservation report on the cultural heritage values of the land on the eastern side of Akaroa harbour.

It also agreed to assist with preparing a management plan and push for Takapuneke to become a national reserve.

George Tikao, who has just stepped down as chair of Onuku Marae Runanga which has a close interest in the land, says in the past council recognition of its significance has been slow.

He says a lot of credit for the December decision must go to Mayor Bob Parker, whose association with Takapuneke goes back many years.

Mr Tikao says it was first settled by Maori more than 500 years ago and became an important centre for trade between Ngai Tahu and Pakeha, particularly in relation to the sale of flax.