Hapū condemn group occupying red zone in Christchurch

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Apr 07, 2022 |

Local Iwi have condemned a group of people occupying red zone land in Christchurch.

The group, which includes a handful of anti-mandate protestors, first erected tents on a site off Brooker Ave in New Brighton last week.

Christchurch City Council is providing facilities including rubbish skips and portaloos to those camping at the site.

Te Maire Tau, ūpoko of Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga, said in a statement on Facebook the ope (group) was claiming descent from Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe, and other North Island iwi.

He said “this is to notify our hapū and Ngāi Tahu that an ope, named Te Waka Aroha, Te Waipounamu, have occupied the Ōtākaro-Avon River Corridor.”

“This ope claims ‘Native Title’, ‘tino-rangatiratanga’ ‘mana-moana’ and ‘mana-whenua’ to Ōtākoro Avon River and the surrounding lands. Their source of information is the publication, The Song of Waitaha by Barry Brailsford.”

“Many of our elders will recall the tensions ‘The Song of Waitaha’ caused within our hapū. None of our elder’s whakapapa or traditions support this publication.”

“All families in Tuahiwi were offended. Our Ūpoko at the time was quite clear that we were to have no engagement with them – ‘ahakoa kua mate ia, kai te whai tonu mātou i tōna ohaki’.

“We are proud of our descent lines from Waitaha and Ngāti Māmoe. This ope are not Waitaha nor are they Ngāti Māmoe.”

“The claim to ‘tino-rangatiratanga’ is a clear attack on the authority of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the claims made by our whanau to Ōtākaro. You will recall that Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the Christchurch City Council are in discussions about co-governance to the Avon River Corridor. This will not be undermined.”

“We need to be clear; this is an ope without tikanga. Ngāi Tūāhuriri will not support nor engage.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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