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Ngāi Tukairangi elder of Tauranga Moana seeks acknowledgment

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Despite the apology given by the Anglican Church of Aotearoa to Tauranga Moana iwi today for land lost in 1867. 

Ngāi Tukairangi representatives voiced their disapproval because only two hapū were formally acknowledged.

In 1838, 80 percent of the 1333 acres belonging to Ngāi Tamarawaho and Ngāti Tapu, later known as the CMS Te Papa Block, was transferred to the Church Missionary Society.

The Anglican Church of Aotearoa formally apologised for their role in the loss of 423ha of Māori land to the Crown.

However, during the formal apology some expressed their disappointment that only two sub-tribes within Tauranga Moana were formally acknowledged.

Josh Te Kani of Tauranga Moana says, “Because the lands were taken, here in Tauranga the history has been lost.  This is the damage of what happens with you lose your land.” 

Ngāi Tūkairangi elder Kihi Ngatai asked why his sub-tribe was not being acknowledged.

Brian Huikakahu Kawe of Tauranga Moana says, “He is the last of the last so I heard his hurt when he stood before everyone and said what he said.”  

After the battle of Gate Pa, Te Ranga and the Bush campaign, the Crown put pressure on the church to sell the land to them for European settlement.

“One side of me is sad that those who were affected are not here but we have been given the honour,” says Kawe.

Bishop Ngarahu Katene says, “We had led meetings which led to the return of the land under Otamataha.” 

Part of the land is currently being administrated by the Otamataha Trust.