Hawke's Bay Today

HEALING UREWERA WOUNDS

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A Waitangi Tribunal report on the Urewera region published late last year showed the relationsh­ip between the people of Te Urewera and the Crown had been a “profoundly unhappy one”. The report was 30 years in the making. Issues covered stemmed back to the mid1860s when there was conflict between the Crown and the iwi of upper Wairoa, Waikaremoa­na and Te Urewera. The report said from the mid-1860s to the early 1870s, noncombata­nts were sometimes killed and people were starved out of their villages, or driven from them, with wholesale destructio­n of kainga, crops and taonga. “A deeply held grievance was the failure of the Crown to give real recognitio­n to mana motuhake/tino rangatirat­anga.” Fast forward to 2018, and Te Urewera Management Plan is now in effect under the Te Urewera Act 2014 which uniquely establishe­d Te Urewera as a legal identity. The act’s purpose is to strengthen and maintain the connection between Tuhoe and Te Urewera, and “provide for Te Urewera as a place for public use and enjoyment, for recreation, learning and spiritual reflection, and as an inspiratio­n for all”. A Tuhoe spokesman last year said they had moved from a DoC-led approach, and were constantly learning and growing capability. Board chairman Tamati Kruger said Te Urewera was the largest rainforest left in the North Island.

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