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Hokianga landowner at odds with Māori community over plans to build house on tapu land

A small Māori community in Hokianga is blocking a man from putting another house on his property, saying the area near the Wairere Boulders is tapu.

The landowner has council permission to add a house, but it was granted before an archaeological discovery on the site.

Māori who live in the Wairere Boulders community say the land is a burial ground and shouldn't be disturbed.

"A big war party of about 800 warriors came from Ngāti Whātua and the place was just covered in bloodshed, you know, and because of that it became really tapu," Pat Burley said.

The boulders, now a popular tourist attraction, are said to be tombs.

The council says when it gave consent for the subdivision it wasn't aware of its significance, and Heritage NZ and the iwi were consulted.

Heritage NZ has since confirmed there are archaeological features there, and they've been damaged by recent earthworks.

Landowner Helmut Eck told 1 NEWS he was too exhausted to appear on camera, but all parties met this afternoon to discuss the situation.

It's hoped between them a compromise can be found.

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Council gave permission for the project, but it was before an archaeological discovery at the site. Source: 1 NEWS