Petition trying to save ancient Ngāruawāhia gardens goes to govt today

By D'Angelo Martin

 A Ngāti Tamainupō hapū-created petition, which saw more than 3,000 signatures in just over a week, will be delivered to both Maori Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Waikato District Council chief executive Gavin Ion today.

The petition calls for a halt on further development on centuries-old gardens at Puke-i-aahua Pā in Ngāruawāhia.

This is now day 43 of hapū presence on the pā site, and Tamainupō spokesperson Kimai Huirama says a further delay of the final decision is unacceptable and that a resolution for this issue is needed today.

Now all parties have agreed to meet today including Mahuta, Waikato District Council chief executive Gavin Ion, hapū representatives and property development company Perjuli Developments.

The invitation for the hui was issued last Friday during a protest march to the Waikato District Council office, which saw over 200 people attend. A karakia will take place on Puke-i-aahua pā and the group of representatives will then travel to tribal offices at Hopuhopu for discussions behind closed doors.

More to come.