Joe Hawke now rests at Takaparawhau

By Tumamao Harawira

Ngāti Whātua kaumātua Joe Hawke has been buried on the land he fought to return to the iwi. Hawke was buried on the memorial to his late niece Joanne, who died during the occupation of Bastion Point 44 years ago.

The area, which isn't a burial site but is designated a wāhi tapu, sits just metres from the Eastcliffe Retirement Village.

Joe Pīhema of Ngāti Whātua says the issue of where to bury him was discussed throughout the tangi.

"My heart is glad that this conversation started at the beginning of this hui. There is no better place for him to be buried."

"Ko Takaparawhau kikokiko, kia Takaparawhau oneone, ka tau ka hono ki reira - Our flesh now rests at Takaparawhau."

The Auckland Unitary Plan's Regional Policy Statement provided the opportunity for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to bury Hawke on Takaparawhau.

The statement says "Auckland Council has a statutory responsibility under section 6(e) of the RMA to recognise and provide for the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, wāhi tapu, and other taonga."

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei co-chair Marama Royal says the iwi was adamant that this is where Hawke would be buried.

"We were not going to be told that we couldn't put him there, and we didn't want any legislation or any red tape to tie that up."

According to the youngest of the Hawke clan, Rex Hawke, the iwi has also discussed the idea of new urupā for the iwi here on Takaparawhau.

"That has been the wish of our taumata and our people for quite a while. Basically, we are running out of room down below."