Oopsie. Imagine if pakeha had done this?


Two senior iwi members have admitted to driving bulldozers through part of an historic Marlborough pā site to extend their vineyard.

Father and son duo Phillip and Haysley MacDonald, who own Te Pā Family Vineyards Limited, claim they weren’t aware of the Heritage-listed site before they demolished it.

Apart from the fact they claim to have been connected to the land for 800 years, and the place is called Te Pa.

Phillip MacDonald is a kaumā tua of Marlborough-based iwi Rangitane o Wairau and his son Haysely has been elected as a trustee.

Heitage New Zealand says Phillip and Haysley MacDonald “acknowledge damage was done to an archaeological site on Wairau Bar Road and have agreed to commission an archaeological survey of the land owned and managed by the company before any further expansion, planting or other work is considered. A donation of $15,000 has been volunteered to Heritage New Zealand to assist in its ongoing work.”

Heritage NZ laid charges after the MacDonalds were reported for damaging the site by iwi members.

But Heritage NZ has dropped those after a resolution was found during discussions outside court.

A spokesperson for Rangitane says iwi members are furious and feel their tikanga have been trampled on by one of their own.

“The damage is so bad that our children, the future generations, will now no longer know what Te Kōwhai Pā  site was about,” says Rangitāne Chairperson Tarina MacDonald.

This definitely smells like one of those ‘easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission’ scenarios.


– Newsub

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