14 Mar 2014

Rena should stay put - Motiti hapu

7:43 pm on 14 March 2014

A collective of hapu elders on Motiti Island is making it clear it is the authority on the island, and believes the wreckage of the Rena should stay on Astrolable reef, near Tauranga.

But another entity on the island, Ngai te Hapu, is fighting to have all of it taken away.

The Te Korowai Kahui o Te Patuwai Tribal Council has stepped in to the debate because it doesn't want others talking on its behalf.

Council head Nepia Ranapia sid hapu elders were in ongoing talks with the Rena owner, and it was considering the idea of leaving what was left of the Rena where it was.

From what Te Patuwai had been told, it was far too dangerous to try and haul it away because people would have to go under the water and attach chains to the wreckage, he said. However, the tribal council was not willing to have the Rena removed at the expense of a person's life.

Its ancestors of Te Arawa and Waitaha intermarried the original people of Motiti Island, who lived there before the arrival of Te Arawa, Mr Ranapia said.