Security risks mounting over Heke’s burial
For Immediate Release
17 October 2013
Security risks mounting over Heke’s burial says Ngapuhi spokesman
Ngapuhi spokesman David Rankin has expressed serious concerns over the security surrounding the burial of the remains of his ancestor – the nineteenth-century warrior chief Hone Heke – at the end of this month.
Two years ago, Mr Rankin removed Heke’s bones from a cave near Pakaraka, where they had lain since 1850. Now, though, he has heard that there are plans to disrupt the reburial.
“I have heard from reliable sources that there are plans in place to prevent the procession carrying Heke’s remains from going up Mt Putahi. These are the haters and wreckers from our iwi,” says Mr. Rankin. “They crave attention, yet are culturally ignorant. Ngaphi is full of the. They contribute nothing to our culture.”
It is expected that hundreds of people will attend the re-interment ceremony on 28 October, which will bring together descendants of those hapu that fought alongside Heke, together with those who fought with the Crown:
“This is a once in a lifetime event,” says Mr Rankin, “and if anyone or any group plans to disrupt the event, we are prepared for that challenge.”
Mr Rankin says he has organised extra security for the day, but will not disclose the details of these preparations. “All I can say to those planning to disrupt this event is ‘wait and see’.”