16 Aug 2019

Walls Bay: Call to keep Pākehā name until tribunal ruling

5:00 pm on 16 August 2019

Māori claimants in the Bay of Islands are objecting to a name change for Walls Bay, at Opua.

Walls Bay Reserve

People working on a boat that's up on the slip on the Walls Bay esplanade reserve in a file photo from 2014. Photo: Supplied / Maiki Marks

The Paihia community board is voting today on whether to change the name to Waipuna.

But the claimants say the bay should keep its Pākehā name until the Waitangi Tribunal releases its report on the area.

Māori and other locals have battled for years to stop boatyard owner Doug Schmuck from using the tiny reserve to work on his boats.

A claimant, Maiki Marks said the Walls Bay sign is sitting in a council shed after someone illegally ripped it out.

She said the council has enough evidence to prosecute the person who did that - and should put it back in the meantime.

Mrs Marks said there is evidence that Waipuna was not the original Māori name for Walls Bay, and the council is hijacking the tribunal process.

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