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BBQ on Mt Taranaki offends Iwi

BBQ on Mt Taranaki offends Iwi

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A Christian group has apologised to Taranaki iwi after causing offence when they hiked up Mount Taranaki and had a barbecue at the summit.

Local iwi call the action insensitive and ignorant.

The group of Christian friends made a trophy video of their journey up Mt Taranaki, even lugging up a couch.

“The main reason was just for a laugh,” said Jordan Millen, the tramp organiser.

When they reached the top, they cooked some food and dubbed their adventure the epic barbecue.

But it has left a sour taste with local iwi.

“The activity that happened on the maunga [mountain] over the weekend was totally inappropriate and totally insensitive to the cultural values,” said Toka Welden, local iwi representative.

In the Maori world, mountains are places of spiritual presence and to be respected.

The Department of Conservation says Mt Taranaki is personified as an ancestor to local iwi, with the summit being the head and considered tapu, or sacred.

“There’s no room for ignorance today,” said Welden.


The Christian group has since apologised for the barbecue.

“We’re just very sorry that it has caused offence and didn’t mean to,” Millen said.

But they say they were not aware they were doing anything wrong.

“There was nothing at all, no signage. We had no idea and no way of telling,” Millen said.

Taranaki DOC head Phil Mohi says the department will better inform the public.

“We’re saying to people, ‘look just think about these sort of things, go up there and enjoy the summit, but here are some things that aren’t appropriate to do’,” Mohi said.

Local iwi accept the Christian group’s apology and encourage more awareness to respect Mt Taranaki.

(11) Comments

  1. Mandy

    Some of these comments are disgusting and should be deleted, I'm viewing these in Oct 2012 and find them appalling i.e. Gary Mist. Also something should report on which we'll never see in mainstream media - more than twice the number of pakeha children have died from abuse than maori in the last five years.

  2. Mauri

    Why must every article that has content related to Maori values be trolled by uneducated sarcastic bigots! Making excuses for thier ignorance by mocking Maori with derogatory stereotypes not only shows more ignorance but a lack of intelligence. With views like that, it's a wonder why people like this even bother to visit this website knowing that it's based on the perspectives of Maori not the mainstream? We create our own Media content because the mainstream is full or rubbish views like some of these posts, yet bigots still manage to take time out of their day to try and stir trouble?? It's just ridiculous!! Regarless of the nonsense posts, it's good to know that the majority who read this article will gain some knowledge of Maori tikanga and be more enlightened because of it. MAURI ORA!!

  3. Jock

    I wonder how much that BBQ would be worth now on trade me Wow!!!! proceeds to the church or charity? & im not even religious but what a great idea!

  4. Jock

    I'm keen to add to my bucket list to hike Mount Taranaki/Egmont or another mountain & crack a woody at the top to celebrate, just only one! & photograph it & say - I bloody made it - yeeha! Anybody keen to come along? And of course i would bring my empty can back with me. Whats the problem? no problem, Get over it!! enjoy life like theres no tomorrow!

    1. south paw

      Depends if you intend on dragging a mobile kitchen up there to make your sandwich and a dining room set up to eat it in, Norm.

  5. boris

    "Gary Mist January 19, 2011 - 10:51 pm Why not put as much effort into being offended about the abuse and killing of maori children!" Why won't the Christians put as much effort into apologising for the abuse and killing of maori children when they got here? Oh we didn't know we weren't supposed to kill them, there were no signs up and they looked savage. Come on Gary, your kind of argument doesn't really help anyone. Good job all around with this article I reckon - iwi were right to take offence, the Christians were right to apologise (they could have known better but now they do) and DOC are probably the ones best placed to educate those who don't understand.

  6. neb

    These people are also local! do Maori have the monopoly on the correct way to behave on a mountain - Mt Taranaki? They climbed Mt. Egmont! is it time for another round of land wars to beat Maori again? there was NO SIGNAGE, a NZ Government rep working for DOC made the complaint?!?!! Get over it - these young folks are doing no one any harm - if so then their Atua would be smitten by Atua Maori - surely... but that wont happen...he already died and rose again on a cross so we can all be set free from cultural bondage and hypersensitive types....its a mountain - not God. a mountain....tapu was wiped out by Ratana...move forward Maori...

  7. Joe Hunter

    So, you are a group with caring and strong spiritual values and justice at your core, and in this country you don't know anything about how the indigenous people regard this special place. Obviously you didn't mean to cause offence. It does say something about the acceptable level of ignorance in our society. I presume that if your group were to travel overseas they might put some consideration into respect for local custom.

    1. south paw

      What makes you believe they aren't? Why do Maori have to let anyone treat a sacred place like it is their backyard.

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