The final resting of the Mataatua canoe was one of the sites of significance the Waitangi Tribunal inspected today.
Nora Tawhi Rameka, “Irrespective of the politics of claims, Ngāti Rehia was keen to bring the Tribunal here to see the beginnings of Ngāpuhi. We're happy they've come today and seen our sacred canoe, Mataatua.”
Ngāti Rehia wanted the Tribunal to experience the spirit of this sacred place.
Mr Munro says, “What is sad is that we had to ask the Pākehā owners for access so we could come and visit one of our most sacred sites. That's the substance of some of the claims before this Tribunal. There are many sacred sites that have been lost or sold or we don't have access to visit and these sorts of issues will be heard in the week ahead.”
Ms Rameka says, “It’s most important that all the tribes of Ngāpuhi act in unison for our future prosperity.”
The Waitangi Tribunal will be welcomed onto Whitiora Marae at Te Tii where the substantive claims of Ngāti Rehia begin tomorrow.