Native Affairs - A Place Of Refuse

By Iulia Leilua

South Taranaki hapū, Ngāti Tupaia, is struggling to clean up a reserve that is the site of two ancient pā. 

For decades, Turuturu Mokai Reserve near Hawera was used to dump hospital, commercial and household waste. 

No one, including the Council which owned it for nearly a century, has claimed responsibility.  Confiscated in 1863, the Reserve was returned by the Crown to Ngāti Ruanui in 2005 but a six year battle for its return to Ngāti Tupaia saw further neglect of the land. 

It was finally returned in 2012 and Ngāti Tupaia desperately need money and manpower to restore their wāhi tapu.