An historic Northland pā site with links to Ngāpuhi chief Hongi Hika will be handed back to iwi, after collaboration by government, private landowners and local hapū, Regional Development Minister, Kiri Allan announced today.
“The return of this site west of Kaikohe reflects the continuing partnership between Crown and iwi, and the determination of local Pakeha and Māori landowners to honour the shared history of their community,” the Minister said.
The Coleman family and the Nikora whānau currently own the farmland which includes the location of the historic Pā, as well as the access road needed to open up the site as a heritage, cultural and education centre for visitors and locals.
“Thanks to the generosity and respect shown by these private landowners, and $750,000 investment by a Government regional economic development fund, the Pākinga Pā site will be transferred to a Whenua Tōpū Trust to manage in perpetuity on behalf of Ngāpuhi,” said Ms Allan.
“The Government-funded restoration of the site includes new fencing, surveying, the construction of road and foot access onto the pā, sensitive clearing of vegetation on the archaeological site and providing carparks and signage.
“The work was done by local companies, sub-contractors and workers and is expected to lead to the creation of 15 new jobs to support visitor tours and maintenance of the land.
“The project also delivers on a commitment to make our histories better understood and taught in schools and kura. Understanding the big ideas about our shared histories, knowing the local contexts, and thinking critically about the past are central to this.
“We are backing communities all over the country through our regional economic strategy to strengthen community resilience and infrastructure. These investments are even more important as we respond to global economic shocks by supporting local livelihoods,” she said.
In total, there are 268 current projects worth $784 million being managed in Tai Tokerau/Northland region by Kānoa, the regional development unit in MBIE.