May 7, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Nga Taonga o Te Urewera (2003)

2 min read came across this incredibly valuable resource while writing an article on the current Ngai Tuhoe Waitangi Tribunal claim. It was written in 2003 by Professors Ngahuia TeNgahuia Te Awekotuku and Linda Waimarie Nikora both of whom work at Waikato University. The following is an except from the outline of the report:

Iti rearea, tei tei, Kahikatea, ka taea. This report sets out to establish that Te Urewera and Tuhoe – the place, the people – are synonymous. It is argued by two discrete approaches – cultural property and the significance of place. These are both enmeshed in the Tuhoe concept of matemateaone, which is defined and demonstrated throughout the text.

Issues of Tuhoe heritage and cultural property are positioned within the international indigenous context, and considered in detail with reference to the United Nations Report on the Protection of the Heritage of Indigenous Peoples tabled in June 1995. A Tuhoe response to the nine sections of this document form the basis of this submission, as they clearly reflect the intentions and principles that configure the articles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Individual case studies are presented and concerns in cultural property and indigenous psychology are raised, emphasising the various factors which have determined today’s Tuhoe environment.

Archival and textual research and analysis comprised the principal methodology. Information was accrued from a wide range of written sources, including standard texts, ephemera, relevant publications, newspapers and magazines, and unpublished records such as personal correspondence, minute books, catalogue entries and manuscripts.

For primary Tuhoe material, we have referred to waiata koroua, as well as contemporary lyrical compositions. A number of Tuhoe people also shared their ideas and experiences; their brief narratives effectively enhance the assertion of synonymity.

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