News & Events

Council strengthens relationship with Rangitāne o Manawatū

Friday August 2 2019

Two agreements between Palmerston North City Council and tangata whenua, Rangitāne o Manawatū expressing and strengthening the significance of their relationship were signed today.

The two agreements were the Rangitāne Partnership agreement and the co-management of Te Motu o Poutoa with Rangitāne.

“This Council has a tremendous commitment to our partnership with Rangitāne,” says Chief Executive Heather Shotter. “These agreements formalise our existing positive relationship, reinforces our commitment and sets a platform for us continuing to work together collaboratively.”

Photo shows Rangitāne and Council representatives signing agreement.

Rangitāne Partnership agreement signing.

“Rangitāne have been the kaitiaki of this area for many centuries before the city was established. We’re delighted to formalise, recognise and embrace this as part of our city’s identity.”

The second document formalises the co-management of Te Motu o Poutoa (Anzac Park) with Rangitāne o Manawatū. The partnership document details the arrangements for establishing a co-management Committee. The Agreement will allow the incorporation of other wāhi tapu or ancestral sites in Palmerston North.

“This is a special day. 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 was 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 our District Plan.

“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.

Today has been a long time coming for Rangitāne, says Danielle Harris, Chief Executive of Taneneuiarangi Manawatῡ Incorporated. "It signifies the great strides being made by both Treaty partners and shall enable more opportunities to emerge in the future to continue to grow and strengthen our partnership."

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 to 1963, the site changed significantly. A ridge was lowered 20 metres to form the plateau that exists today and in 1964-65, a lookout station, carpark and picnic spots were formed.

In 1968, the land was vested in PNCC as a reserve by the Kairanga Council. The PN Astronomical Society observatory was built in 1971.