Taniwha Springs returned to Ngāti Rangiwewehi

Taniwha Springs

After almost half a century Ngāti Rangiwewehi can now celebrate the return of Pekehaua Springs, more commonly known as Taniwha Springs.

Last night a unanimous vote from the Rotorua Lakes council was reached for the ownership to be transferred from the council to the iwi.

In 1966 the springs were taken under the Public Works Act for public water supply purposes and vested in the Rotorua County Council at the time.

Ngāti Rangiwewehi has always mourned the loss of their taonga saying the taking was morally wrong.

It holds strong historic cultural significance to Ngāti Rangiwewehi and are regarded as precious taonga. They are regarded as the traditional home of the taniwha Pekehaua - a central figure of local traditions - and the place where the tribe's life springs from.

In 2012 Ngāti Rangiwewehi Settlement couldn't get the land back under current council jurisdiction. But now a new agreement between the iwi and council puts Ngāti Rangiwewehi at the negotiating table.