Iwi continue discussions around tikanga on Mt Taranaki

By Heeni Brown
  • North Island: West Coast

Taranaki iwi continue their discussions around protocols on their ancestral mountain, after a hiker who went missing on the mountain was found dead.

Taranaki local and academic Dr. Ruakere Hond says, "It's about raising awareness on the importance of our mountain and not just go up there with no thought for our mountain, that's at the core of our discussions and how we can better manage people going there and better manage our mountain"

The hiker, a man believed to be in his 20s was found just after midnight.

Search and Rescue found his body after an alarm was raised on Wednesday afternoon when he failed to return from his Tuesday hike up Mt Taranaki.

"The conditions on the mountain are extraordinary. The average person looks at the mountain and thinks it isn't that big and is easy enough to climb, but once they're up they feel a blistering cold and if you're not prepared for that, you can be in serious danger."

Last month, Hond called on Māori to outline values and protocols for sacred Māori sites, after a glamour model posted a nude photo of herself at the peak of Mt Taranaki on social media.

"It's not right having protocols regulated because people will think more about being penalised. Now, that's not what we want. What we do want is to find out how we can raise awareness around this issue better."

Hond also hopes these protocols will not only be in place for Māori, but for the general population.