Waikanae history not told

I was disappointed with the tone of the article (Cultural assessment delays carpark Kāpiti Observer March 10). Perhaps next time you might consider balancing your reporting by educating yourselves, and locals, as to why local iwi might consider the site worthy of a cultural assessment.

The Waikanae pub was built on the site of the Parata homestead, which was owned by Wi Parata.

Wi Parata gifted the land on which the Waikanae township now stands to the Crown in 1889.

He was the first Maori to become a Cabinet Minister, gifted the land where Waikanae School now stands, and the site of St Luke’s church to the Anglican Diocese.

Wi Parata had an enormous influence on the development of the town of Waikanae that we enjoy today. It is appropriate that the former site of his homestead has full cultural and historical assessments, so this contribution may be properly acknowledged.

Sadly, no information was included in the article that might explain why Whakarongotai Marae are conducting a cultural assessment. It is not difficult to find out the basics about Wi Parata via a Google search, Kāpiti Coast District Council or the library.

As journalists, you hold great power and responsibility, and I urge you to consider how you balance your reporting. This could be an opportunity to educate locals about the rich history of our area. Instead, it became an opportunity for the same old ignorant rants about Maori cultural considerations.


Lyn Stroud