Moving the Ngapuhi festival out of Kaikohe has not gone down well with locals and it's not hard to see why.

Every two years, the festival is a big deal in Kaikohe. Or was.

It attracted up to 30,000 people to Kaikohe, crime dropped when the festival is in town, and it celebrated all that is good about Ngapuhi.

Read more: Kaikohe responds to Ngapuhi Festival move


Locals love it, they consider Kaikohe the heart of Ngapuhi, they feel that the festival started in Kaikohe, and should stay there.

Te Runanga-Ā-Iwi O Ngapuhi runs the festival and its event manager Tio Taiaki says due diligence was done, there was consultation.

He is right - Whangarei is also part of the Sacred House of Ngapuhi, and it is closer to Auckland.

But is an extra hour's drive really an inconvenience - the Ngapuhi I know think nothing of jumping in a car and driving for hours on end to be with whanau for a tangi - one hour on the road is nothing.

The point has been made that the festival is the runanga's event, but it's nice that Kaikohe people feel a sense of ownership.

Moving the festival shows ignorance of how important it is for people to have a sense of pride and ownership, or identity.

The festival would be nothing if it was not for he tangata. Quite simply, the benefits of the festival to the people of Kaikohe and the town's economy have been ignored.

This is a town stuck with the stigma and reality of a prison just down the road, and with more than its share of social and crime problems.

Moving the festival is an inexplicable kick in the guts.

In 2017, more than ever, efforts should have been made to deliver the festival in Kaikohe.

If the runanga believes it is acting in the best interests of its people, this decision is a funny way of showing it.