The Sport and Recreation Committee today agreed to recommend Council adopts the Kawenata in relation to Te Motu o Poutoa. The partnership document details the arrangements for establishing a co-management committee. The Kawenata agreement will allow the incorporation of other wāhi tūpuna or ancestral sites in Palmerston North.
“This is a special day. The Council recognises the opportunities the partnership will offer the city,” says Mayor Grant Smith. “Rangitāne and Councillors have worked closely together to formalise the partnership to ensure and uplift the mana of Rangitāne o Manawatū and work in true partnership on key sites.”
Te Motu o Poutoa has been agreed by both Council and Rangitāne as the most appropriate site for the Co-management Committee to initially jointly manage. Its cultural significance is listed in the Palmerston North District Plan.
“It’s appropriate we start with one of the most significant sites. Te Motu o Poutoa is a key cultural site that boasts the best geographical high-point in the city. It’s essential Council and Rangitāne work together in managing its future,” says Smith.
Rangitāne leader Wiremu Te Awe Awe said, “The site has always and still is a very significant site to Rangitāne who occupied the land for over 800 years.
“We already have a very good relationship with Council, and the signing of this agreement formalises that. It’s 170 years since Te Peeti Te Awe Awe said, ‘Kua kaupapa i au te aroha ma koutou e whakaoti.’ (I have laid the foundation of friendship as a legacy to guide future generations).
“We need to be walking together. The Council’s crest shows this with Māori on one side and non-Maori on the other. We all want the same thing. We’re very excited.”
All decisions made by the new Council committee will still be subject to final Council approval in the same manner that Council approves resolutions of other committees.
The Council is expected to agree to the recommendation at its 18 March meeting.
Background of Te Motu o Poutoa – the place of Poutoa
Poutoa was an ancestor of Rangitāne. His descendants include Paewai, Te Awe Awe, Te Rangiotu and other families.
The land was purchased from Kairanga County Council as Anzac Park in 1916. It is assumed that at some point prior to this date, the Patriotic Society renamed the park.
From 1962-63, the site changed significantly. A ridge was lowered 20 metres to form the plateau that exists today and in 1964-65, a lookout station, car park and picnic spots were formed.
In 1968, the land was vested in PNCC by the Kairanga Council as a reserve. The Palmerston North Astronomical Society observatory was built in 1971.