20 Jul 2020

Peter Meihana's Mighty Wairau River

From First Up, 5:38 am on 20 July 2020

Peter Meihana grew up swimming in the swift currents of Marlborough's Wairau River. The lecturer in Maori history at Massey University says the large braided river is a central identity marker for local Maori, and a place that made settlement possible eight centuries ago. Dr Meihana is a trustee of Te Runanga a Rangitane o Wairau, which represents Rangitane iwi members across a range of social and political issues. They're among the collection of voices backing plans for the Wairau Regional Park, which would preserve the river's past and secure its future. Dr Meihana told our reporter Tracy Neal the river means different things to different people, but to him it's a lifeblood: