A rāhui has been placed over Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge walking track following a sudden death at the western end on Wednesday 24 May.
A rāhui is a restriction or prohibition on an area following an incident, such as a death, to honour the deceased, provide spiritual protection to anyone who would enter the space unknowingly and allows the area to regenerate its mauri or life force.
Rangitāne o Manawatū representative Terry Hapi says the rāhui covers the entire reserve and will be in place until 22 June.
“The length of the rāhui gives the ngahere (forest) time to heal and reflects the cycle of the moon.
“With the support of Ngāti Kauwhata, Rangitāne ki Tamaki nui-ā-Rua, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua, Police, Department of Conservation (DOC) and local councils, Rangitāne have placed signage at both ends of Te Āpiti to let users know the space is temporarily closed.
“We understand the death is not being treated as suspicious and send aroha to the whānau and friends of the person involved.”
Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge governance group chair and Horizons Regional Council councillor Fiona Gordon says it’s important for people to respect the rāhui while it is in place.
“We know Te Āpiti is a popular site for our community but the rāhui needs to be honoured in order for the reserve to heal from this incident,” she says.
“Please stay away for now, once it’s lifted we can all re-enter the space safely. With this in mind, Horizons and DOC will halt any work in the area until the rāhui is lifted.
“Our thoughts are with the friends and whānau of the loved one at this time.”