Years of erosion is putting a marae at risk and trustees say they are being refused permission to fix the problem.

Time is ticking to save the century-old Pātaka [storehouse], which is now just metres away from falling into the Ongarue River, north of Taumarunui.

The wharekai [dining hall] on Te Rongoroa Marae is ten metres away from the eroded river bank and iwi are worried it will all slide away.

A landslide created by the heavy rain last week has taken more land into the River.

Te Rongoroa Marae trustee Michael Burgess said they have asked for permission to remove part of the opposite bank, to mitigate the issue, but have been refused. Burgess said the problem has gone from a $15,000 problem to one that would cost an estimated $180,00 to fix.

“We done everything he said and planted trees and now some of them are floating down the river.

“These river banks don’t hold up long enough to settle. We’ve been doing this for years.”

“Rivers are a natural force and ultimately have the final say.”

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