March 15, 2022, 10:15 a.m.
Members of Ngati Kahu hapū, Matarahurahu advise that the name Papakawau given to the Culvert Project just south of Mangonui is incorrect. NZTA signposts with the name Papakawau were removed completely. Freddy Mathews and Tiger Tukariri advise the correct ingoa tuturu (traditional name) is Tokatoka.
Freddy Mathews said, “Waka Kotahi, I'm hoping they've learnt a lot from this. This is not a first thing for Waka Kotahi. They've done it so many times, to other areas, to other iwi, other hapū. What they need to do is ensure that the person that is nominated to act on behalf of the hapū has the mandate, by the committee and by the trustees of the marae at that time and once that happens, Waka Kotahi will tidy up that process I'l' be happy with”
The signs with the name Papakawau were removed on Friday the 4th of March and the hapū members have since left the occupation site.
Tiger Tukariri said, "kua hui tahi māua ki a rātou (NZTA) kia whakakotahi ai ngā whakaaro mo te anga whakamua".
The Papakawau culvert replacement project in Doubtless Bay SH10, south of Mangonui is a roading project that was funded through the Government’s shovel ready Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) programme, according to NZTA.
The construction of the bridge is not yet complete, but appears to be nearing its completion as the road is expected to be rerouted with the temporary road being removed next week, according to signs in the construction area.
The old culvert was built 50 years ago and needed to be upgraded as it was too small and had a diameter of just 450mm. The long-term impacts meant the marine life couldn't thrive as it was restricting the tidal flow causing the natural environment to decline over those years, according to NZTA. The bridge will encourage marine restoration in this space and further into the Aputerewa creek and upper estuary.