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Matapihi Hapu Takes Stand Against Methamphetamine

News Release
For Immediate Release
August 31, 2005

Matapihi Hapu Takes A Stand Against Methamphetamine With Rahui

The three hapu of Matapihi will this week, with the support of Waipu Hauora and Ngaiterangi Iwi, place a rahui (ban) on methamphetamine.

The majority of Matapihi residents are descendants of Ngai Tukairangi, Ngati Tapu and Ngati Kuku, all three are hapu of Ngaiterangi Iwi.

The rahui will be placed on the Matapihi Peninsula, near Mount Maunganui on Friday September 2nd and once the ceremony ends it will become tapu to manufacture, supply or use methamphetamine in the area.

In Maoridom, a tapu area is considered sacred and holy. It is believed that anyone breaking the tapu will face spiritual consequences.

Ngaiterangi spokesperson Brian Dickson says "placing a tapu is an effective cultural way of dealing with a major community problem. Matapihi sees it is time to take this stand to protect all that is important to them, their whanau and their community.

"We are taking a traditional Maori method and utilising it as a means of dealing with issues and adapting them for the contemporary problems of today. The local kaumatua and tohunga are 100% behind this and will be placing the rahui at a ceremony at 6am this Friday" Dickson says.

The kaumatua of Matapihi have seen the impact that methamphetamine has had in our society and are prepared to take a stand as clear leaders in the community.

One of the kaumatua has carved two Pou Wairua – carvings – that will be placed alongside billboards at each end of Matapihi Peninsula to warn people of the rahui.

Matapihi chose to use a rahui, usually reserved to protect ocean and land resources, as a method to conserve future generations.

'If we can place a rahui for conservation reasons – why can't we place one to protect our future generations against the evil of P?"

"We expect the benefits of this rahui will not only be seen in Matapihi, but through Tauranga Moana as a whole" Dickson says.

Anyone wanting to attend the rahui ceremony should gather opposite 138 Matapihi Road by 6am on Friday, September 2.

ENDS

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