Council Approves Waka Agreement

21 April 2011

The waka Te Raukura will stay at Waiwhetu - and a new waka is planned for the Wharewaka on Wellington's waterfront.

This follows an agreed settlement involving the parties who have been contesting the ownership and possession of Te Raukura.

Wellington City Council tonight approved an arrangement in which the Waiwhetu-based Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika will reimburse the Council $150,000 in full and final settlement of the disputed rights and interests in the ownership, care and possession of the waka Te Raukura. That sum is quite sufficient to commission a new waka.

Under the terms of the settlement with Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika, payment is to be made within 28 days of this agreement. When payment is received, the Council will formally abandon its proceedings in the High Court.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has welcomed the proposal that a new waka be built and carved and then housed in the recently-opened Wharewaka.

"This is obviously not what was originally intended when we initiated court proceedings. The new proposal is a circuit-breaker to end the protracted dispute.

"We prefer to make a clean start - and, in the end, it will mean another waka for Te Whanganui a Tara."

Mayor Wade-Brown says the alternative, a drawn-out and expensive court battle, would not be in the interests of ratepayers.

"However we reject allegations that Te Raukura was ill-treated by the Council."

Sir Ngatata Love, Chair of the Te Wharewaka o Poneke Charitable Trust, says the settlement is a good result. "This will further reinvigorate and strengthen the presence of waka on the harbour."