Aspirations for the return of lands at Ngawha are yet to be realised but Ngāpuhi have come a little closer to achieving that goal recently following an agreement with the District Council for descendants to take over management of Ngawha springs via a lease.
Over 10,000 acres were either confiscated or lost to the Crown last century through questionable practices, and only recently has the District Council agreed to lease an acre next to the sole piece of land still in Māori ownership.
Sonny Tau says, “We have plans to develop this place, but the land is of the utmost importance. Once the land is returned to us, we'll be happy. We're not celebrating at present, because it remains under the control of the district council.”