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Empowering iwi and hapû key to conserving at-risk taonga

18 June 2024

Supporting iwi, hapū, whānau, and Māori communities to safeguard their at-risk mātauranga and taonga will be key themes at hui in Christchurch and Hawke’s Bay this month.

This collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and National Services Te Paerangi at Te Papa is an initiative that emerged from a Ministry for Culture and Heritage-funded programme – Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kotuku.

Te Pūranga wānanga has already been held successfully in Taranaki and will again convene at Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House and the Ngāi Tahu Archive in Christchurch from 19 to 21 June and at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in Taradale from 25 to 27 June.

Organiser and Field Conservator for National Library based in Gisborne, Vicki-Anne Heikell says Te Pūranga recognises that iwi/hapū hold unique collections and have limited funding for preservation so, through these wānanga, kaimahi are able to access vital training, resources, and tools to enhance the care and preservation of their taonga.

“Te Pūranga wānanga give kaimahi practical skills and knowledge in collection care and management. They learn techniques that can be immediately applied to their work, ensuring the longevity and integrity of cultural artefacts.”

Following a successful pilot last year, participation at these regional Te Pūranga wānanga in Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, and Christchurch are booked to capacity. It underlines just how sought after valuable conservation and preservation knowledge and skill sharing is for kaimahi and kaitiaki of taonga outside of the institutions.

Vicki-Anne says the wānanga are an opportunity to connect with peers from across Aotearoa, so they can share experiences, insights, and best practices.

“Having a collaborative environment like this fosters a supportive community of practitioners who are all committed to preserving cultural heritage. It contributes to the resilience and sovereignty of iwi and hapū, and empowers communities to reclaim and retain control over their taonga and cultural heritage.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview:

Media contact:
Media Desk
Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639