Native Affairs Summer Series – Home at last

By Iulia Leilua

With Christmas just days away, many of you will be in a mad rush to get all your presents sorted, but for one iwi the magic of Christmas came early this year, when a special taonga was returned to them.

It's a story that has captured the imagination of people around the world for four decades, when a set of 300 year old carvings from Taranaki were stolen in 1973, only to show up in Switzerland five-years later. The story behind the carvings is stranger than fiction.  Iulia Leilua was with the Waitara iwi of Ngāti Rahiri as the panels were returned home.