Preliminary Waitangi Tribunal hearings on Taihape claim

By Laurel Stowell

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Hunterville School pupils were welcomed to Rata Marae in 2013. PHOTO/ FILE
Hunterville School pupils were welcomed to Rata Marae in 2013. PHOTO/ FILE

A third set of preliminary hearings into Taihape area land claims begin at Rata Marae on Monday, Mokai Patea Waitangi Claims Trust manager Richard Steedman says.

Nga korero tuku iho hearings are the earliest of Waitangi Tribunal hearings, to determine what area is being talked of, the iwi and hapu there and how they got there. They are more a cultural presentation than about any grievances.

The hearings that begin on Monday will be a four-day event, ending at Moawhango Marae near Taihape. They are the third and last Nga korero tuku iho hearings for the Taihape Inquiry.

The Mokai Patea Waitangi Claims Trust represents four iwi in the area, Ngai Te Ohuake, Ngati Hauiti, Ngati Tamakopiri and Ngati Whitikaupeka.

The claim is Wai 2180, and covers the area from the summit of the Desert Road down to Rata, and the summit of the Ruahine Range to west of Taihape township. It is one of the last claims left to settle in the country.

Next week's hearing begins with a powhiri at Rata Marae at 9am. On Wednesday a hikoi begins through the district, finishing with a powhiri for the tribunal at Moawhango Marae at about 3pm.

Substantive hearings on the claim are due to begin in February next year, Mr Steedman said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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