The long-running saga of Wellington's wharewaka has taken a new twist, with the city council conceding that the $12.5 million building is too small for one of the waka expected to be housed in it.
The admission comes as defiant Waiwhetu Maori ignore a council deadline to return Wellington's ceremonial waka, Te Raukura.
Oh dear. But that's not all; read on:
Wellington City Council admits Te Raukura's Hutt Valley sister waka, Te Aniwaniwa, will not fit in the wharewaka, but says it was never meant to.
Spokesman Richard MacLean said that, although the building was designed to house two waka, Te Aniwaniwa, the longer canoe, was not one of them.
"It appears whoever designed the thing, they obviously decided that, `No, it's not going to house the Hutt one'. It sounds like another dispute."
Oh dear, oh dear! Why would you go to the expense of building a wharewaka which was too nohinohi to house the largest, most impressive waka in the area? Isn't local government wonderful?
And it brings back memories of another measurement cock-up. The first Tri-Nations rugby competition was played in 1996 between New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. The All Blacks won the series when they beat the South Africans at Cape Town, and Sean Fitzpatrick was presented with an enormous cup. It wasn't supposed to be enornous; it's just that the jeweller who made it was used to working in inches, not centimetres, and the cup was 2.5 times its intended size, and has never been presented since!
I guess that we should at least be grateful that the builders contracted by the Wellington City Council didn't err that way!!