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Crown actions threaten relations to awa tupuna

20 July 2007

A Taranaki kaumatua believes Maori will no longer be able to whakapapa back to their awa tupuna, or ancestral rivers and lakes.

Huirangi Waikerepuru says the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and the Rotorua lakes and Waikato River claim settlements, are a challenge to Maori tikanga or custom.

In those settlements, the river or lake bed goes to the iwi, but the Crown owns the water column and airspace above.

Mr Waikerepuru says that will challenge speakers on marae when they whakapapa back to elements of the landscape.

"They'll be able to include their awa, but the reality is that itís managed and controlled somewhere else. Before, the hapu and the people of the land controlled the landscape, the environment, and affiliated to that," Mr Waikerepuru says.

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