The people of Ngāti Kahu-o-Torongare are worried that their sites of significance may be disturbed with the growth in interest of developing in the area. Hapū spokesperson Richard Shepherd says his hapū have been seriously wounded by the encroachment of foreigners upon their ancestral sites.
The principal home of the Ngāpuhi subtribe lies north of Whangarei at Ngāraratunua and there are grave fears for the well being of what has long been known as an oasis for their people with developments closing in on the area. Shepherd says one area in question was a major source of well being for his people which was used for swimming and catching eel.
The Council is working on a district plan that involves providing information about local Māori sites of significance. Māori liaison for the Council Solomon Tipene says they are working closely alongside with the iwi and hapū of the area to identify areas of significance. However Shepherd is cynical of the plan and says realistically the Council has no genuine interest in preserving the interests of Māori and significant areas.
Māori Television understands that Ngāti Kahu-o-Torongare and the Council will work throughout the year to build a register of known sites of significance.
Reporter: Harata Brown.