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Pukawa paves way for inter-iwi talks

Published: 8:31PM Saturday November 18, 2006 Source: One News

Key talks are underway on the shores of Lake Taupo as tribal leaders gather to seek a unified voice to support the Maori King.

The large weekend hui is being held at a new marae at Pukawa - a place with deep historical links to the Kingitanga movement.

In 1856, 12 chiefs gathered at Pukawa to take on the mantle of the first Maori king and 150 years later a marae stands in its place.

"It is a ground that historically our people have been able to come to, speak their mind, and the modelling of the qualities of leadership exist here," says Ngai Tahu spokesperson Tahu Potiki.

The aim of this weekend's hui is to find a pan-Maori voice to stand behind the Kingitanga movement.

"Something that we've strived for for the last 200 years is this idea of kotahitanga, or unity, and this is an opportunity," says Potiki.

Along with finding a common voice, the hui will also be looking at issues such as the ownership of water and the co-management of resources.