In 1853 land at Whakarewa near Motueka, which had been a Māori reserve, was transferred to the Anglican Church for educational purposes. The school shown here was built on the land. This was just one example of considerable land alienation in the region. However when the Nelson diocese of the church began to sell the land in the mid-1980s, local Māori leaders objected. Harvey Ruru, an Anglican priest with ancestral connections to the land, occupied the place and was arrested. Some years later the diocese returned the land to the original owners.
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