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End of era for historic Taumarunui sign

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/05/2016

After 25 years welcoming visitors to Taumarunui, the King Tawhiao sign at the northern entrance to the town has come down.

The sign was taken down on Monday and put in storage until it can be handed over to the Kingitanga.

Ruapehu District Council spokeswoman Rebecca Van Orden said the sign was removed gently and with considerable care and respect.

Local iwi performed a karakia before the removal, which was attended by about 30 people, she said.

Work on putting up a new sign will start on Wednesday and is expected to be in place by Friday, however it will be covered up until King Tuheitia officially unveils it.

The unveiling has been tentatively scheduled for May 15.

Tawhiao was leader of the Waikato tribes from 1860 to 1894, the second Maori King and a religious visionary.

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