Te Tahuna o Rangataua
Like the Wairakei Stream, Te Tahuna o Rangataua is a Nga Potiki cultural icon and both are recorded as such in the Tauranga City Council Plan (Maori Heritage Appendix 7).
In 1977, our kaumatua Bill Ohia, then chair of the Tauranga Moana Executive called for the tahuna to be made a reserve but passed before his dream could be realized.
In 2011, Nga Potiki RMU succeeded in getting the name ‘Te Tahuna of Rangataua’ recognized by the New Zealand Geographic Board which is now applied to all official maps. Legislation to repeal the Mount Maunganui Borough Reclamation and Empowering Act 1974 was enacted in 2012 which removed from the Mount Maunganui Borough’s successor Tauranga City Council the right to claim 73 Ha of foreshore and seabed for oxidation ponds. The adoption of the joint petition by the Nga Potiki a Tamapahore Trust and the Tauranga City Council by Parliament vindicated the vigorous opposition by Nga Potiki kaumatua of the 1970’s, concerned over the detrimental impacts on both the environment and Nga Potiki whanau.
In 2015 a proposal to Heritage New Zealand was submitted by the Nga Potiki RMU for Te Tahuna o Rangataua (including the waters, shoreline and seabed) to be recognized as a wahi tapu under current legislation. If granted, Te Tahuna o Rangataua will enjoy the same legal recognition as nearby Kopukairoa. Heritage New Zealand is presently undertaking a consultative process with Tauranga iwi and other interested parties prior to a comprehensive proposal being submitted to the Maori Heritage Committee for its consideration.
The Strategic Direction
Nga Potiki will continue to provide excellent stewardship over its cultural landscapes and seascapes in the interests of current and future generations. While regular monitoring of residential and commercial developments across Papamoa remains a priority, there are several projects of strategic significance the RMU will focus on over the next few years including:-
1. Application to Heritage New Zealand to register Te Tahuna o Rangataua, as a wahi tapu under existing legislation;
2. To pursue an existing application under the Coastal and Marine (Takutai moana) Act 2004 for customary rights in collaboration with Tauranga iwi over the coastline; and 3. To collaborate with other Maori stakeholders, and interested parties including the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, to explore the feasibility of UNESCO World Heritage status over a large area encompassing much of the region.