9 Dec 2022

Otuihu pā site sold to Crown with expectation it's returned to Ngāti Manu

6:26 pm on 9 December 2022

Ngāti Manu will celebrate the return of a large section of its whenua this weekend, after 177 years of waiting.

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Ngāti Manu kaumātua Arapeta Hamilton says this is a huge moment for iwi Photo: Supplied

Private landowner John McIntosh has sold the Otuihu pā site to the Crown, with an expectation it will be returned to Ngāti Manu as redress.

In the 19th century, the pā was a trading centre and home of the Ngāti Manu chief Pōmare II, who lived there with several Pākehā settlers.

But in April 1845, the pā was struck by the Crown who then seized Pōmare II, holding him as prisoner on board the HMS North Star as the pā was razed.

After the land was seized, it ended it up in private hands, until now.

Ngāti Manu kaumātua Arapeta Hamilton said the return was a huge moment for the iwi.

"Our old people, my old people, dreamt of getting it back. They talked about it on our marae and this is years ago, this is 30 - 40 years ago. To actually be in the process of getting it back is huge," Hamilton said.

The McIntosh whānau taking the time to learn about the iwi helped with their decision to sell the land, Hamilton said.

"We've got a close relationship with John McIntosh and his family.

"They just recently purchased the property a few years ago now. But we've developed a close, honest relationship with John and it's from that and his learning about the history of the pā and how it was actually taken from us motivated the sale of the land back to the Crown."