Ngāti Tama’s tāngata tiaki have been carrying out an important kaitiaki role during the construction of the 1.6 km Rapanui passing lane, on State Highway 3 north of Tongaporutu.
Before the works started in December 2020, it was important for Ngāti Tama to bring everyone involved in the project together. This was an opportunity to share history of the whenua and to acknowledge those who came before us. Karakia placed a cloak of protection over the project, so all those involved felt protected and safe.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency expressed their appreciation for iwi support of the project.
Our tāngata tiaki provided a cultural induction and ongoing guidance for the construction crew to ensure workers respect tikanga during construction on our rohe. This includes following protocols if taonga are discovered during the works.
Tāngata tiaki have also carried out monitoring work nearby on a safety upgrade of Clifton Road/SH3 intersection at Tongaporutu. The road is being widened and resealed along with installing safety barriers and improving drainage.
Both projects are part of safety and resilience improvements on SH3 between Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge and are due to be completed in early 2022.