Local hapū, Ngāti Tamainupō, is seeking urgent Government and Waikato District Council intervention to buy land that was once part of Pukeiāhua Pā, at 5851 Great South Road, Ngāruawāhia, from Perjuli Developments Ltd.
Why is this important?
UPDATE: Our petition was formally read and tabled in Parliament on 28th July 2020. Recently, the Māori Affairs Committee invited us to make a written submission on our petition by early February.
We have several projects kicking off soon, including a neighbourhood parakore initiative, school and community tours, and master planning for Pukeiāhua.
Pukeiāhua Pā in Ngāruawāhia is a historic Māori settlement with great cultural, archaeological and educational value to hapū and the local community. Over three hundred years ago, during a feast held at Pukeiāhua Pā, Ngāti Tamainupō chief Ngaere spoke these words: "Wāhia ngā rua - Break open the food pits." This is the story of how Ngāruawāhia was named, a narrative carried by each and every resident and business who call this place 'home'.
According to hapū research, over 140 borrow pits or 'rua' were part of the extensive gardens making up Pukeiāhua Pā. Sadly, most of these 'rua' have been destroyed due to development, and only seven remain today. These 'rua' are located on the proposed site for a new subdivision.
An Archaeological Authority for the proposed subdivision was approved on 25th March 2020, a day before lockdown. Due to an "administrative" error, Ngāti Tamainupō were not notified properly as mana whenua, nor provided with an opportunity to appeal the Authority.
Excavation began on-site on 6th May 2020. The next day, concerned hapū and community members turned up in protest to stop further digging. The developer has agreed to stop all works onsite for now, however we need local and central government to come to the table with a solution that will protect this whenua for the whole community. Instead of high-cost housing, we envisage a greenspace that sustains the narrative of Ngāruawāhia as a cultural, heritage and ecotourism location; a place for community gardens and edible forests; and a space for whānau and tamariki to learn, relax and play together. We believe this is a dream worth fighting for, a dream worth uniting for.
Sign the petition to ask the Government and Waikato District Council to protect this whenua for good and return it to mana whenua and the community as a reserve.
How it will be delivered
In person, to the Waikato District Council Governing Body.