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Akaroa's Green Point becomes a reserve

Akaroa's Green Point becomes a reserve

An important moment in New Zealand's history took place last Thursday when Council adopted a recommendation that the land known as Greens Point in Akaroa will become a reserve.

Earlier this year the Akaroa/Waiwera Community board resolved to change the classification of the neighbouring Takapuneke Reserve to become a Historic Reserve marking its significance in New Zealand history. The area was the site where in 1830 Te Rauparaha led a massacre of people from the Onuku marae. Te Rauparaha had been taken into the harbour hidden in the British ship Elizabeth, captained by John Stewart. Promised payment of 50 tonnes of flax, Stewart lured the local leader and his wife and daughter on board. Te Rauparaha then sacked Takapuneke, killing most of its 200 inhabitants.

The captain's complicity was one of a series of incidents leading to a large group of Maori chiefs petitioning the Crown to promise them greater protections. This finally resulted in the drawing up of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

Councillor Claudia Reid says the final step in declaring the whole site as a reserve was a moving moment.

"It has been a place of immense sadness and today is the beginning of putting things right. Changing the classification protects and preserves the area so there can be no further inappropriate use of the land.''

Mayor Bob Parker says people now acknowledge that the site has had a complex history that entwined both Maori and settler communities.

" Now we have community ownership of the land with full knowledge of its' history we can all understand that something's have needed to be put right. The Christchurch City Council has sent a message of hope to the local runanga. When the Government took issue on ownership of the Foreshore and Seabed, the Council was prepared to look beyond the obvious and show the runanga that it understood the importance of their story and assure them they had been listened to.''

The land is now recognised as a place of absolute national importance because of the significance of the events that took place there and the fact they were a prologue to the Treaty of Waitangi, Mr Parker says.

An appropriate event would be held later to mark the importance of the occasion, he says Mayor Bob Parker says people now acknowledge that the site has had a complex history that entwined both Maori and settler communities.


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