Ngāti Whātua and Tainui concerned about disposal of human ashes

By Te Kāea

Ngāti Whātua and Waikato-Tainui are supporting a call by the Law Commission to develop new regulations to ensure tikanga is properly observed for the disposal of human ashes.

Law Commission spokesperson Wayne Mapp said iwi have major concerns about where ashes are being scattered. Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua spokesperson Tame Te Rangi said iwi need to be consulted particularly if the area has tapu status.

Mr Te Rangi says, "we will not accept ashes being disposed of in areas like Auckland's 14 tupuna maunga (ancestral mountains) including Rangitoto, Maungakiekie and Rangitoto.

Waikato-Tainui spokesperson Rahui Papa said the Waikato River has been identified as an area of disposal for human ashes.

He said "releasing ashes into water may be forbidden under tikanga, especially if the body of water is used as a source of food."

The government is expected to respond to Law Commissions recommendation next month.