It's the land we want - Haapu

By RICHARD WOODD - Taranaki Daily News | Friday, 29 June 2007

A hapu claiming an ancestral right to the old Hawera Hospital site
says it's not interested in the buildings, only the land, which was
its Nga Tupaea tribal marae in pre-European times.

"We don't want the buildings because they are full of asbestos and
will be difficult and expensive to remove for demolition," hapu
spokesman Chris Turahui said.

Commenting on Ngati Ruanui chairman Sid Kahuranui's statement that the
hospital land was part of the $41 million treaty claim settlement
package in 2001, Mr Turahui said: "Tupaea were shut out of that
settlement and we've received nothing from it, even though all the
local marae have been given $100,000 each. We did not give Ngati
Ruanui the right to settle on our behalf. We were out-manoeuvred and
not properly advised. There's been friction between us and Ruanui ever

He said the hapu's objective was to interfere with the tendering
process to sell the hospital property, by the Taranaki District Health
Board. Tenders close on August 1. He had been unable to make contact
with the board.

"I hope we are achieving that," he said. "Whoever puts in a tender
must realise that they are really only buying the buildings, because
it's our land and we want the title to it."

He said Tupaea was a barely functional organisation "because we have
no money. We have been given the Turuturumokai marae by Ngati Ruanui
and we are waiting for the transfer of title. But we have no funds for
development and improvements there."

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