Pou Desecration at Kaitaia Sparks Debate

Oct. 4, 2022, 11:59 a.m.

Since before colonisation, Te Paatu had tangata whenua status over the Kaitaia area stretching to Mangamuka in the south and parts of Ngāti Kahu to the east. According to Ahorangi Makere Mutu (Ngāti Kahu), Te Paatu was one of the biggest iwi in the area before the descendants of Hāpute (father of Haiti-tai-marangai) started settling through Tokerau and inland towards Pamapuria through Victoria Valley.

Tribal disputes on land borders goes back before our time, however, in this particular instance discussions and hui were held at Te Paatu Marae in August, whilst a hui was held at Roma Marae where concerns for the pou were heard and taken to Te Runanga o Te Rarawa.

Mutu says "I disagree with what Shane Jones has said" adding that "he had similar comments when Te Whānau Moana and Te Rorohuri decided to shut down the Maitai camping grounds last year." At the Runanga hui, representatives from Te Paatu Marae do not know who desecrated the pou, but speculation on Jones' behalf were derogatory, according to Mutu.


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