22 Jan 2014

Plea for iwi and council to clean up old pa site

7:37 pm on 22 January 2014

A Ngati Ruanui man is calling for his iwi and the South Taranaki District Council to work together to clean up an ancient Maori pa site that has been used as a dumping ground since the 1920s.

Milton Whareaitu, who belongs to the Ngati Tupaea hapu of Ngati Ruanui, has been the voluntary project manager cleaning up Turuturu Mokai Pa over the last 18 months.

Last year he found a pit near the old redoubt about the size of a rugby field filled with potentially dangerous and asbestos contaminated rubbish.

Mr Whareaitu says it's time for the council and iwi to restore not only a rich heritage site, but to protect the water ways from contamination that could be seeping into an underground stream.

He says he notified the South Taranaki District mayor in November last year and then again two weeks ago and both times he didn't seem concerned.

Mr Whareaitu says the district council and Ngati Ruanui need to step up and do something to restore Turuturu Mokai to its former glory.

He says only the Taranaki Regional Council responded in a concerned manner and told him it would be conducting some tests.