May 8, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

NZ Historic Places Trust to promote its vision for Maori heritage places

2 min read

A series of hui on marae heritage work is proving an ideal forum for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga to also promote its vision for Maori heritage places.

The 20 hui began last month and will continue until early April. Included in hui discussions is the distribution of Tapuwae, the NZHPT M?ori Heritage Council (MHC) document on how to identify, protect, preserve, conserve and advance M?ori heritage.

TapuwaiCSir Tumu te Heuheu (Ngati Tuwharetoa) is chairperson of the Maori Heritage Council, with council members Dr Merata Kawharu (Ngati Whatua, Nga Puhi), Gerard O’Regan (Ngai Tahu), Dr Apirana Mahuika (Ngati Porou), Manos Nathan (Te Roroa, Ngati Whatua, Nga Puhi), Jamie Tuuta (Ngati Mutunga) and Che Wilson (Ngati Rangi, Whanganui).

Tapuwae, which means footprint, aims to ensure Maori heritage is not only identified but appreciated to build a greater understanding of Maori culture and history and its value to all New Zealanders. The document says it “articulates a vision for Maori heritage, one which will secure a future for a dynamic indigenous heritage that all New Zealanders can be proud of”.

Tapuwae also highlights specific concerns, notably that over the past 150 years much Maori land-based and built heritage has been seriously undermined and damaged. Other reasons for producing the document include the need to dispel the myth that Maori heritage is of value to Maori only increase national understanding and value of this key part of New Zealand’s heritage increase recognition that heritage is vital to a healthy and vibrant economy and society help iwi preserve and protect their heritage – a need they have identified increase property owners and developers’ understanding of heritage generally – specifically Maori heritage.

NZHPT Kaihautu Te Kenehi Teira said there were many examples of Maori heritage being shared as national treasures.

Tapuwae contains a very important message, that here’s a way of not only identifying these places, but telling their stories through protecting and promoting them. “The opening of an exhibition commemorating the formal protection by the Christchurch City Council of Takapuneke (on Akaroa Harbour) as an historic reserve earlier this month attracted up to 1000 people to an area associated with a series of tragic events for Ngai Tahu people in the 1830s,” Mr Teira said.

“There are other sites where the NZHPT have worked in partnership with iwi over many years to encourage people to visit Maori heritage sites – including Opotaka and Te Porere, near Turangi. These Maori and Historic Reserves have been restored and maintained by Ngati Hikairo ki Tongariro with support of the Tuwharetoa Trust Board.

Other examples of how groups with divergent interests can combine in heritage protection and preservation include Te Aro Pa in Wellington and the Rock Art interpretation site in South Canterbury. It shows that Maori heritage, under the kaitiakitanga of respective iwi, can be understood and appreciated by the wider community.”

This publication is fully bilingual, inEnglish and Maori. You may download a copy in either language using the text links at left.

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