22 Dec 2014

Mountain's return delights iwi leader

6:21 am on 22 December 2014

A far north iwi leader says he feels he has fulfilled the aspirations of kaumatua, following the purchase of their ancestral maunga.

Haami Piripi.

Haami Piripi. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Whakatoro was the home of Ngapuhi tupuna Ueoneone and is the ancestral mountain of Te Rarawa and hapu Ngati Haua, which is its mana whenua.

In 1992, Ngati Haua members occupied the land in protest against the mountain, near Whangape and north of Hokianga, being sold for $700,000.

Te Runanga o Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi said the maunga was purchased from an investment company last week.

He said he felt fulfilled because the mountain's return was an aspiration of Ngati Haua kaumatua Glass Murray, who lead the 1992 occupation.

Haami Piripi said the runanga would meet with Ngati Haua in the new year to discuss Whakakoro's development.

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