Kia ora koutou o Te Rangapū
We are asking for your tautoko/support for the return of the whenua o Te Pāhou back to Ngāi Te Ahi me Ngāti He Hapū, ko te iwi o Ngāti Ranginui me Ngāiterangi
In principle, the commissioner has agreed but still needs to follow the process of public consultation and decision back to the Commissioners in February 2024. A public notice has gone out to the surrounding suburbs within the Te Pāhou Reserve & Urupā hāpori.
- The land was historically part of a very large area of land confiscated under the Tauranga District Lands Act 1867 and later divided through a Native Land Court Partition Order in 1924. The land was then bought and sold by various private landowners before the Council purchased it in 1981 and 1982 for reserve purposes.
- Since then, parts of the reserve have been modified for roading, and other infrastructure purposes. The remaining land is mostly wetland.
- Next to the land is an urupā (cemetery) and prior to European settlement the wetland was also a burial site.
- The area Council proposes to reconnect to hapū is much smaller than what Te Pāhou historically represented. Council proposes to transfer ownership of this land to hapū at no cost to reconnect the hapū with the whenua (land) and where their ancestors lay.
Once Council has completed consultation, a final decision will be sought from the commissioners at a general Council meeting next year. If you wish to give feedback to Council as part of this consultation, please email at TePahou@tauranga.govt.nz by 19 January 2024.
You can also provide a short email acknowledging the importance of this waahi tapu, with your support from your hapu/iwi. Thank you and much appreciated.