19 Dec 2014

Iwi wants to buy back ancestral mountain

6:45 am on 19 December 2014

A Far North iwi plans to buy back its ancestral maunga, Whakakoro.

It was the home of Ngapuhi tupuna Ueoneone and the ancestral mountain of Te Rarawa and hapu Ngati Haua.

Every Ngapuhi descendant can whakapapa (trace back) to the sacred maunga of Whakakoro, near Whangape and north of Hokianga.

In 1992, Ngati Haua members occupied the land in protest of it being privately sold for $700,000 and the disputes have continued.

Whakakoro was unable to be part of Te Rarawa's Treaty claim, as the maunga is privately owned, but with settlement funds it will buy the land back for its people.

Ngati Haua trustee Richard Murray said people had made significant sacrifices to secure the return of the whenua.

Te Runanga o Te Rarawa is scheduled to meet with Ngati Haua descendants in the new year to work through some terms of reference for the on-going ownership and management.

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