19 Feb 2021

Whanganui hapū members want to stop bulldozing on Punakewhitu

From Morning Report, 7:44 am on 19 February 2021

Descendents of an ancestral maunga in Whanganui will return to the area this morning to ensure no more work takes place on Punakewhitu. 

Dozens of hapū members flocked to the whenua yesterday morning after they were left shocked to see a hillside of Punakewhitu bulldozed to make way for logging trucks. 

A call went out on social media and people went to help stop any work taking place. 

Punakewhitu is privately owned - but the Horizons Regional Council says some sites require specific consent under the Heritage New Zealand Act, which requires consultation with hapū and iwi. 

Kiritahi Firmin, descendant of Whanganui hapū Ngāti Tuera and Ngāti Hinearo, told Māni Dunlop there was no such consultation and they needed to make a stand.