7 May 2015

Hapū calls for answers over waahi tapu bid

6:55 am on 7 May 2015

A Motiti Island sub-tribe has accused Heritage New Zealand of incompetence because it hasn't dealt with an application the hapū says it submitted more than a year ago.

The Rena in April 2013

Parts of the 'Rena' can be seen on Astrolabe Reef in April 2013. Photo: RNZ

Ngāi Te Hapū said it had lodged a bid with the trust requesting waahi tapu (sacred site) status for Astrolabe Reef, where the container ship Rena ran aground in 2011.

A spokesperson for Ngāi Te Hapū, Buddy Mikaere, said he was sick and tired of waiting.

He said its application had been with Heritage New Zealand for over a year.

Mr Mikaere said the agency had mucked around with its bid over that time and done nothing with it.

He said the agency had apologised to the hapū over the delays and said staff were too busy or that it did not have the resources to deal with the sub-tribe's request.

Mr Mikaere said the latest Waitangi Tribunal report on the Rena showed strong recognition that the Astrolabe Reef was considered a taonga.

Heritage New Zealand has not responded to a request by Te Manu Korihi for comment.

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