In November, Paratene Marae in Ngunguru hosted three days of meetings and events. This was the latest step in the rejuvenation of a local whenua.

Pūkahakaha beach

Pūkahakaha East 5B is a 5ha coastal block which Te Tumu Paeroa is the Responsible Trustee for. It’s located on the coastline of Pataua South – about a 30 minute drive east of Whangarei. The block has 44 residential lots on it – baches overlooking Pataua estuary and the nearby beach. In recent years, erosion has started to become a concern for the whenua. But with the support of Te Tumu Paeroa, the Advisory Trustees have been working to develop the trust into what they hope will become a thriving business. 

Part of the effort to achieve this has involved purchasing more land for the trust and developing a long-term strategic plan. The events that took place in November were the latest stage in this development process.

Putting a plan into action

Ngunguru maraeThe Advisory Trustees of Pūkahakaha East 5B developed a strategic plan which was ratified by owners in January 2016. The strategic plan lists the economic and social objectives of the trust for the next five years. Te Tumu Paeroa have been working with the trustees to help them meet these objectives. One of the first objectives of the trustees was to build a register of the owners to help support the Trusts decision-making.

To become an owner in most Māori land, succession through the Māori Land Court is usually required. Pūkahakaha East 5B has a slightly different ownership structure. The beneficiaries of Pūkahakaha are the descendents of two couples - Te Kahuwhero and her husband Te Uhi, and Te Huaki (the younger sister of Te Kahuwhero) and her husband Tukaiteuru. Te Tumu Paeroa were on hand to help build the ownership list with the help of the attendees of the meeting.

Erosion of the block has been a concern for the owners and trustees of Pūkahakaha East 5B but Advisory Trustee Taipari Munro is confident they’re heading in the right direction.

“We’ve had to look at things like climate change and sea rise with erosion. We’ve had to consider those things and whether Pūkahakaha is even going to be here in 50 years time. So what we’re wanting to do is acquire more land and to diversify.”

Sustaining and supporting the people

Pūkahakaha 46.JPGJoeann Walters is an owner who’s played an integral role in helping set Pūkahakaha East 5B on this path. Initially she was on the Pūkahakaha working committee before taking up a role as an Advisory Trustee. With the purchase of land in Owhetu, the development of a strategic plan, and increased engagement with owners, Joeann feels the future is bright for Pūkahakaha East 5B and its owners.

“It’s about making sure everything comes back to our people. And that’s why these hui are designed this way. By the time [the owners] come to the AGM, they’ve got a good knowledge to be informed and to make decisions” says Joeann.

“I see the land here retained. I see more land (for the owners). I see more of our people working in areas that they enjoy working in. It’s about creating this asset so it continues to sustain and support our people”.

If you think you whakapapa to Pūkahakaha East 5B, please visit their website at and register.

- Maika Bennett