Rotorua Lake’s council have agreed to return a piece of land surrounding Hamurana Springs to Ngāti Rangiwewehi, but the final decision lies with the Conservation Minister.
At the first meeting for the Rotorua Lakes Council strategy, the Chair of the Policy and Finance committee, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait acknowledged this has been a long standing Treaty of Waitangi grievance for Ngāti Rangiwewehi.
The transfer of ownership of the land in question, which is also used for the town’s water supply was debated robustly by the members of the committee.
Toro Bidois of Ngāti Rangiwēwehi along with a small group of representatives who attended the meeting this morning says, “Ngāti Rangiwēwehi have always maintained ownership over the land at Te Kaikaitahuna (Hamurana Springs) and at Te Mimi a Pekehaua (Taniwha Springs) these lands were taken from Ngāti Rangiwēwehi by the Crown.”
Today in a show of good faith by the council with Ngāti Rangiwewehi the ownership of the land will be returned to them.
The initiation of this process will now be referred to the Minister of Conservation, Maggie Barry and it will only come into affect if the Minister formalises the transfer of the land to Ngāti Rangiwewehi under Te Tahuhu o Tawekeheimoa Trust.