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Council becomes guardian of gifted taonga

November 12, 2020

Tuesday 10 November was a special occasion for Council, on this day three framed sheets of historic importance were hung in the Council Chamber.

Inside these frames were signed copies of the 1835 Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi Raukawa Moana/Cook Strait sheet. The 1835 Declaration of Independence is the founding document of sovereignty in Aotearoa/New Zealand, five years later in 1840 the Treaty of Waitiangi was signed, with individual sheets sent throughout New Zealand to be signed by rangatira (iwi chiefs). Of particular importance to our district is the Raukawa Moana/Cook Strait sheet which had been signed at Tāwhirihoe Pā, between Rangitīkei and Manawatū rivers, on 21 May 1840, witnessed by Henry Williams and Octavius Hadfield. Ancestors from both Ngā Wairiki-Ngāti Apa and Ngāti Hauiti have signed this document.

These frames were gifted to Council by Michael Andrews - a resident of Taihape who found them in a pile of posters in a Rotary Book Sale many years ago. The discovery of these items sent Mr Andrews on a pathway of education and enlightenment. "It has been an education and a privilege for me to kaitiaki these frames and to donate these sheets to the Rangitīkei District Council for the pathway forward" said Mr Andrews.

A karakia blessed the three frames at an unveiling by Mayor Andy Watson, Councillors, staff, local iwi and the Andrews family.

Read more stories connecting our district: Rangitīkei Connect