Ngati Tuwharetoa have been preparing their evacuation plans for some time, due to fears that Mt Tongariro was becoming more active. A few weeks ago Ngati Hikairo ki Tongariro met with volcanologists to find out exactly what’s going on.
TangataWhenua.com spoke with Ngahuia Wade (who filed the following report for Te Karere in late July of this year), who helped to clarify some key issues.
Yes, the eruption “snuck up” on GNS, but that only meant that they had been having less eruptions in the past few days. Ms Wade told us that “GNS has been working with Tuwharetoa for decades. Brad Scott is a very passionate and enthusiastic volcanologist, very professional and informed. I also note that there have been times where they take tangata whenua with them (like Uncle Napa Otimi from Waihi) up to the mountain at times like this for karakia etc.”
So we are pleased to know that there is been a great deal of involvement of local iwi and hapu and in particular knowing that a Maori world view has been taking onboard (i.e. the use of karakia).