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Statement in Response to Planned Protest at Puke Ariki Landing

Ngāti Te Whiti hapū and Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa understand an occupation has been planned to take place at Puke Ariki Landing on Saturday 26 February.

Puke Ariki is a wāhi tapu (sacred place) for Ngāti Te Whiti hapū and Te Atiawa iwi.  It has also become a special gathering place for the New Plymouth community.

Ngāti Te Whiti hapū and Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa wish to make it clear that we will not support any negative behaviour which might affect the safety of our community or mana of our whenua or hapū and iwi.

As manawhenua of Ngāmotu, we expect anyone participating in the Saturday event to be peaceful and respectful to our whenua and awa, Puke Ariki staff, and our community.  We do not support Puke Ariki Landing becoming the site of an occupation similar to that in Wellington.

Ngāti Te Whiti and Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa respect the right of New Zealanders to undertake peaceful protest and call on anyone participating on Saturday to respect our whenua and the rights of everyone to move freely and safely within our community.

Julie Healey, Chairperson of Ngāti Te Whiti Hapū

Liana Poutu, Chairperson of Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa     

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