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Patu stolen in Rotorua is returned

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/05/2017

A Maori carved whalebone short-handled club taken from a display cabinet at Rotorua Lakes Council has been returned, no questions asked.

The patu paraoa was presented when Te Tatau o Te Arawa, a partnership board between the council and Te Arawa, was set up a few years ago.

The council received information which led to the recovery of the patu paraoa five months after it went missing.

"I never lost my faith in it returning to us," says Mayor Steve Chadwick.

"The patu is a firm reminder of the significance of the Te Arawa and council partnership. I feel, its return re-energises our relationship," she said.

Council and Te Arawa will be looking at what should happen now.

"We entrust our faith in the wisdom of Te Arawa. It will be their decision. If council is given permission we would gladly accept but that is a conversation for Te Arawa," says Ms Chadwick.

Te Tatau o Te Arawa chair Te Taru White says it will be important for the patu paraoa to remain in the public eye.

"We need to ensure that the patu is on display because it's a reminder of the Te Arawa and council partnership. There is nothing solved by hiding it away for safekeeping. It should remain here at council," he says.

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