Ngati Awa have expressed details of  their submissions and historic background focussing on the sacred land of Opihi-whanaunga-kore the spit end of Piripai.

Te Runanga o Ngati Awa CEO Enid Ratahi-Pryor Ngati Awa are aware of their responsibilities in Whakatane and they contribute to the economy of Whakatane. Ngati Awa has an asset base of $122million that makes them an economic player in the well-being of Whakatane.

However town plans should not encroach on Ngati Awa Culture nor should it interfere with the spiritual aspects which cover the ancient sacred burial ground of Opihi-whanaunga-kore cemetry to many Ngati Awa chiefs.

Ngati Awa wants careful diliberation on the projects which the Whakatane Council are proposing that Ngati Awa culture and economic business in Whakatane be addressed and fashioned with sensitivity.

Tu ake ana a Ngati Awa ki te wherawhera ki te whakairo hoki i nga korero nehera e hangai ana ki te wahi tapu o Opihi-whanaunga-kore te muri hiku o te whenua i Piripai. Hei nga korero a Enid Ratahi-Pryor tumuwhakarae o Te Runanga o Ngati Awa kei te tu rangatira a Ngati Awa i roto i Whakatane ko ia tonu kei te awhina i te ohanga o Whakatane. Kei a Ngati Awa te heipu putea kotahi rau rua tekau ma rua miriona tara e tu kaha ana ia ki te ao pakihi me tona mohio ki te ahuatanga o te ohanga he aha maana e kawe e ora ai a Whakatane. Engari kaua nga mahere taone e whakataurekareka i nga tikanga o Ngati Awa kaua e tami i te mauri i te wairua e uwhiuwhi ana i te urupa tahito o nga rangatira o Ngati Awa i a Opihi-whanaunga-kore. No reira te hiahia o Ngati awa kia ata whawha i nga kaupapa a Te Kaunihera o Whakatane kia noho tahi ai nga tikanga  o Ngati Awa me te ohanga pakihi o te taone o Whakatane.