Whanau left angry and insulted
Residents and iwi dealing with the remains of a butchered cow dumped out the front of the Akura Urupa. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Whanau, neighbours and Higgins staff are upset and angry at the “disgusting” dumping of a cow’s remains in front of the 100-year-old Akura Urupa [Maori graveyard] Thursday morning.
Iwi member Michael Allen spoke for the hapu and wider iwi.
“It was very disturbing, we are angry and insulted. Our tipuna [ancestors] are there and they are very special to us.
“We are relaxed and welcoming here,” Allen said. “We haven’t enforced strict tapu [sacred protection] rules and welcome people to respectfully come and be with the deceased.
“We have no idea at all why this has happened. We just don’t know but it is hurting us now.”
Family member Manu Te Whata said dumping of rubbish and the mess made of the grounds by drivers doing burnouts this year had forced them to put a lock on the main gate. The urupa itself is fenced off as a special place for burial.
“The urupa is over a hundred years old. Maybe the people that did this are young and don’t understand it is special to us,” Te Whata said.
“The body of a dead animal at the front of our urupa is so disrespectful to our tikanga, our traditional culture. The uncles are very unhappy about it.”
A few Higgins staff came with a truck and worked to get the cow remains removed. A man on site said the dumping was not done by one person as it was not possible. Te Whata said Higgins were appalled and the neighbours she spoke to were also upset.
The hapu [wider whanau] buried at the grounds are predominantly of Ngati Te Ahuahu descent.
“It’s a sad moment for us,” Te Whata said.