25 Jul 2012

Whare tipuna will honour dead

6:32 am on 25 July 2012

Ngati Porou says building a whare tipuna (traditional meeting house) on a local park in Gisborne to honour members of the 28th Maori Battalion C Company, has the full support of all iwi in the region.

An independent commissioner recently granted consent for the building, despite opponents saying it will have a negative impact on the park and be in breach of a deed of gift made by the original owner.

Ngati Porou chairman Apirana Mahuika says it's a project which has taken three years to become a reality.

He says once the whare tipuna is built, the momentous it houses will be a permanent memorial and archive to the men both Maori and non Maori who fought overseas.

Mr Mahuika says it will also be a reminder that there was a price paid by Maori to becoming citizens of New Zealand.

He says the six iwi whose whanau served in the Maori battalion, are paying for construction of the whare tipuna.