Council fells sacred Ngati Pikiao tree – MoU to be drawn up – RadioNZ


Rotorua District Council says it’s drawing up a memorandum of understanding with Ngati Pikiao – so it doesn’t repeat the same mistake and chop down a sacred Te Arawa tree.

The Mangeao tree, named after a Ngati Pikiao tipuna, Te Pou a Taranui – stood on the side the highway between Rotorua and Tauranga – not far from Okere Falls. understands that the tree was used to place tupapaku (bodies of deceased whanau members) when whanau went to visit the marae.

The council felled the tree, which was not registered as a sacred site, because it was a roadside hazard.

Kaupapa Maori director Mauriora Kingi says the council is saddened by the mistake.

He says a positive to emerge from the error is a memorandum of understanding to be drawn up so Ngati Pikiao will be advised before certain council work is carried out in the tribe’s rohe.

— Radio NZ


  1. Kiaora

    Rotorua Council is the same council that rejected “M?ori wards” with support from its M?ori standing committee because it believes it adequately reflects M?ori opinion and aspirations. How ironic then that this Council has little to no idea about the historical and cultural context of M?ori within its domain. A Memorandum of Understanding should have already been in place with each and every hap? – years ago.

    Those M?ori on the standing committee that support the status quo are simply supporting their own egos moreso than pursuing the best interests of M?ori in Rotorua. Behind the ‘tourist facade’ are the social deprivations of M?ori wh?nau – shuffled into the back-blocks
    so as not to disturb the sensibilities of tourists.


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