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Ed Sheeran

Waikaremoana rahui to cleanse hara of history

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Descendants of the original owners of Lake Waikaremoana are asking people to stay away for the four days from Saturday as they prepare for a court challenge to get the awa returned to them.

Three claimants representing Tuhoe, Kahungunu and Ruapani descendants are in the Maori Land Court in Wairoa next Tuesday seeking to reverse a 2000 decision to vest ownership in two trust boards.

Vern Winitana from Ngati Ruapani says the court named the original owners in 1918, but it took them almost 40 years to get the crown to recognise the title.

The lake has been leased to the crown since 1971.

He says the rahui is a way to call for peace and common sense at what is a turbulent time for the descendants.

"It’s very important for us to use this time to reflect on what has happened to our lake and we can only really do that when we have some peace. We think our lake is being polluted in many different ways. We want to use this time to cleanse if you like the hara that has been around for a long time," Mr Winitana says.

The rahui applies to all activities on the lake itself including fishing and boating as well as access across all adjacent Maori land form.

Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com

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