Not on my maunga: Gisborne councillor Akuhata-Brown tells rubbish dumpers to stop

By Tamati Tiananga

Bags of clothes, general house waste and an abandoned vehicle have all been found dumped on one of Gisborne’s City’s popular maunga, Titirangi/Kaitī Hill.

And Gisborne councillor Meredith Akuhata-Brown said the region would not tolerate this any more.

“To think that a hill is a place to dump a car is next level," Akuhata-Brown said.

Locals use the maunga for recreational purposes in the mornings and evenings while enjoying the million-dollar sunrise or sunset views.  

One Gisborne resident took to social media calling for an end to this behaviour. “What the hell is wrong with you people - dump it in your own backyard paru lot.”

But Akuhata-Brown said name-calling was never helpful.

"This is about education and sitting down with the perpetrators to ask why they do this.”

Bigger issue

She said this behaviour sent a bigger message to fellow councillors and the Gisborne District council that the cost of disposing rubbish was becoming a bigger issue in the region.

“The kind of people who are doing this are tarnishing the mana of the landscape.”

Akuhata-Brown is calling for Gisborne residents to help put an end to this. “We have a responsibility to challenge this behaviour.”

“Educate, support and encourage better practice. The perpetrators are in our neighbourhood, we know these people.”

In 2020 more than 60,000 native rākau were planted on Titirangi Maunga/Kaitī Hill to reinstate its mana back to the time of the ancestor and tohunga horticulturalists Te Maro. 

Te Maro was renowned for his extensive gardens from the maunga down to the Turanga Nui a Kiwa river. One of his main source of kai was hue, to which he learnt the mātauranga of that special kai from his grandfather Maia Poroaki who occupied the Puhi Kai Iti pā below Titirangi.   

Members of Whaia Titirangi Restoration Project had found the waste dumped on the Titirangi Maunga. The Whaia Titirangi programme was created to support, nurture and assist young kaitiaki on their journey as they follow their passion for the taiao and whenua.