Thursday, 23 April 2015 - 12:25pm |

Police urge return of stolen taonga

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Stolen items.
Stolen items.
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Stolen items.


Hawke’s Bay Police are urging the return of a collection of precious Maori taonga that were taken during the burglary of a house near Hastings last week.

The house, in the small rural settlement of  Pakipaki, was burgled last Friday.  The artefacts were in the care of a local resident.

The 14 stolen items included a number of pounamu (greenstone) mere, a whale bone patu and a ceremonial adze with a pounamu blade.  The mere are all approximately 30cm in length by 10cm wide.

The artefacts are registered with Te Papa National Museum in Wellington as taonga and are believed to date back to the 1800s.

Detective Sergeant Craig Vining said the items held immense cultural as well as monetary value.

“The thieves will be aware of both of these things.  We appeal to the people who took these items to return them immediately so they can be cared for by their proper guardians and remain in their turangawaewae. 

“This will have a major impact on local Maori.  We appeal to the thieves to do the right thing and bring the taonga home,” Mr Vining said.  

Police want to speak to the owner/drivers of three different vans seen in the Pakipaki area around the time of the burglary, as well as a forest green-coloured sedan.

Anyone with information concerning the theft should contact Mr Vining on 06 2113917 or information can be left anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, contact could be made with local marae or iwi representatives.


Any media queries to Eastern District Communications Manager Kris McGehan on 06 8310786 or 027 2223638.


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