Hawke's Bay Police urge return of taonga

Police are urging that a collection of Māori taonga stolen from a Hawke's Bay house be returned.

The Pakipaki home was burgled last Friday and 14 items were stolen including mere pounamu, whale bone patu and a toki with a pounamu blade.

The taonga are registered with Te Papa National Museum and are said to date back to the 1800s.

Needless to say, the taonga are valuable with immense cultural significance.

Detective Sergeant Craig Vining says, “The thieves will be aware of both of these things.  We appeal to the people who took these items to return them immediately so they can be cared for by their proper guardians and remain in their tūrangawaewae. 

This will have a major impact on local Māori.  We appeal to the thieves to do the right thing and bring the taonga home.”

The mere are all approximately 30cm in length by 10cm wide.

Police want to speak to the owner/drivers of three different vans seen in the Pakipaki area around the time of the burglary, as well as a forest green-coloured sedan.

Anyone with information concerning the theft should contact Mr Vining on 06 2113917 or information can be left anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, contact could be made with local marae or iwi representatives.