Writer says sacred land threatened by road

KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 05:00 27/11/2012
TOO LATE: Patricia Grace learned of the possible loss of her ancestral land after consultations had closed.
SUNDAY STAR-TIMES
Opposed: Author Patricia Grace.

Related Links

Kapiti expressway: The story so far Expressway would affect historic sites Group fears peaty soil will delay expressway Expressway pollutants concerns 'overstated'

Relevant offers

Kapiti

Town centre meetings to be held in Paraparaumu and Waikanae Paekakariki remembers former US Marines at Queen Elizabeth Park, but how close are the nations? Paraparaumu stalwart Sonny McBride plays 150th Horowhenua-Kapiti premier rugby game Mother of autistic boy Nathan Callaghan thanks search and rescue effort after he was found safe and well One seriously injured in crash on SH1 at Paekakariki Waikanae Primary School locked down due to false alarm Alex Fisher case: Who was Alex Fisher? Alex Fisher case: Five days of hope and despair Green Party freight policy would electrify Waikanae-Palmerston North railway Resident criticises pool food options at Coastlands Aquatic Centre, Paraparaumu

Writer Patricia Grace has publicly opposed the Kapiti expressway, which will cut through her property where her ancestors buried the placentas of their offspring.

Grace, author of novels including Potiki and Tu, owns 983 square metres of Maori freehold land north of Waikanae River, where Tuku Rakau village was located.

"It is very special, waahi tapu," she said at a special sitting at Waikanae's Whakarongotai Marae yesterday of a board of inquiry hearing into New Zealand Transport Agency's application to build the McKays to Peka Peka expressway.

She had been served with a section 18 Public Works Act notice confirming "the Crown desires to acquire that part of your land".

"It is where my ancestors established their homes, gardens and constructed birthing units, and buried the placenta (pito) of their offspring back into the whenua.

"It is where they discussed, negotiated and made important decisions for life and survival," said Grace, who is of Ngati Toa, Ngati Raukawa and Te Ati Awa descent.

Takamore trustees had exercised kaitiakitanga, or guardianship, over the Takamore waahi tapu, including the village area, for many years.

She said her great-great-grandfather Wi Parata lived and had cultivations around the village. "Around 1884 he generously donated land to allow the railway to go through Waikanae. In 1895 he gave land for a government school and later presented a site for the Anglican diocese for St Luke's Church in Waikanae.

"I do not believe there should be any further alienation of Maori land, particularly our sites of cultural and historical importance. We know there are burials on my land as the dunes form part of the Takamore urupa and waahi tapu.

"Our ancestors have given so much to this community, let them lie in peace. The block of land was handed down through the generations and I am now the owner of a small portion. So little of our Maori freehold land remains in Maori hands."

Takamore Trust chairman Ben Ngaia said the trust remained opposed to the expressway running through the waahi tapu area between the urupa and a sacred Maketu tree.

Contact Kay Blundell
Kapiti reporter
Email: kay.blundell@dompost.co.nz

Ad Feedback


Kapiti Expressway: The story so far

 

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

How many coffees do you have a day?

5 or even more

3-4

2

1

Anything from 1-5.

Don't touch the stuff.

Vote Result

Related story: Coffee as we know it at risk of dying

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content