Iwi gather at Mataatua to preserve cultural heritage

Iwi representatives and kaitiaki from all over the country will gather in Whakatane on the 12th  and 13th November for a national hui organised by Te Papa in partnership with Ngāti Awa.

Tūhonohono I ngā Taonga a Iwi: Preserving Iwi Cultural Heritage looks at the growth in iwi cultural centres, and how iwi are preserving and sharing their cultural heritage.

It is hosted at Te Manuka Tutahi, the home of Mataatua wharenui, where Ngāti Awa has developed one of the country’s leading cultural centres after the wharenui’s return from Otago Museum to Ngāti Awa in 1996.

Te Papa Kaihautū Arapata Hakiwai says the hui reflects the growing importance of cultural centres as a way for iwi to realise their aspirations.

“There has been huge growth in iwi cultural centres in recent years,” says Mr Hakiwai.

“It is exciting to see iwi creating their own spaces to tell their own stories, and bring their taonga home.”

Mr Hakiwai said the hui offered a rare opportunity to hear from iwi from around the country about what they have achieved, and the challenges that have been met along the way.

“This is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand from a range of iwi leaders who have inspiring stories to tell about their own journeys.”

“Whether iwi are developing a world leading cultural centre such as Te Manuka Tutahi, or planning the care of a single kakahu, they can draw on the knowledge and experience of those who have gone before.”

The hui brings together iwi representatives and experts from the cultural heritage sector, including the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Heritage New Zealand, Alexander Turnbull Library and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

Māori cultural heritage and conservation experts will be running free hands-on workshops around the care of taonga in Whakatane on Saturday 14 November.

Speakers include:  Maringi Baker, Haami Piripi, Te Kenehi Teira, Awhina Tamarapa, Pip Devonshire, Shane James, Marokopa Wiremu-Matakatea, Ruakere Hond, Claire Hall, Morrie Love, Moera Brown, Monty Soutar, Walton Walker, Hera Ngata-Gibson, Dean Whiting, Jim Schuster, Vicki-Anne Heikell, Rangi Te Kanawa.

Registrations are still open, and people can also register on the day – contact Te Papa National Services Te Paerangi, Kylie Ngaropo on 029 601 0120 for more information.

Media contact: Kate Camp, Te Papa, 029 601 0180. Media are welcome to attend the hui and interview participants, as long as this is arranged in advance.