11 Mar 2013

Remains returned to Kati Huirapa hapu

6:50 am on 11 March 2013

About 60 koiwi tupuna (ancestral remains) of the Kati Huirapa hapu near Dunedin have been laid to rest at Huriawa Peninsula.

The remains include a skull found in Palmerston and had been housed in the University of Otago's Anatomy Department. Some had been in storage at the university since the late 19th century.

The re-burial marks the final phase of a process started 20 years ago by Ngai Tahu for the return of hundreds of bones from the university.

The upoko (head) of Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki Marae says the runaka have been working on the re-internment of this group of bones for the past three years.

David Ellison says they don't know who the bones belong to but are treating them like whanaunga.

Mr Ellison says the koiwi tupuna were buried in boxes made by members of the local marae, Puketeraki.