Local iwi confirms Waitākere rāhui remains in place

updated By Tepara Koti
Police continue their investigation at Waitākere Ranges - Photo / File

Auckland iwi Te Kawerau a Maki have confirmed that the rāhui (customary prohibition) that currently covers the whole of Te Waonui o Tiriwa (Waitākere Forest), remains in place since the discovery of Grace Millane's body within its boundaries.

The body of 22-year-old Millane, a British tourist visiting New Zealand, was found 10m from the edge of a road in West Auckland.

British tourist Grace Millane, 22, who went missing on December 1 - Photo / File

Police carried out a scene examination on Scenic Drive in the Waitākere Ranges over the weekend.

Te Kawerau ā Maki placed the rāhui over the Waitākere forest in December 2017 to prevent and control human access, to ultimately protect the forest for future generations.

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Today iwi representative Rewi Spraggon confirmed that the discovery of Millane's body within the forest's boundaries is covered by the original rāhui put in place last year.

He says that the spiritual protection of the rāhui that was fulfilled by the whole of Te Kawerau a Māki iwi continues on despite these sad circumstances.

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Police are searching for a similar shovel as pictured - Photo / Supplied

The case has become of great national and international interest since Millane's disappearance on December 1, 2018.

A 26-year-old man has been charged with her murder, he has interim name suppression.

Today the Police have asked if anyone has any information about a shovel (similar to picture) that they believe is related to their investigation which may have been seen or picked up by a public member.

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Public vigils are taking place across Aotearoa - Photo / File

Public vigils and displays of condolences have been seen across Aotearoa since Sunday's discovery, a candlelight vigil will take place on Wednesday, on Federal Street in the Auckland CBD area.