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Kaumatua For Library

Media statement 20 August 2001

Christchurch City Libraries’ commitment to work with and serve the information needs of Maori has led to the appointment of a kaumatua.

Dr Terry Ryan, MBE, has accepted the role as kaumatua or “elder” for the network.

“We are absolutely delighted that someone with the mana and respect that Dr Ryan commands has agreed to be our kaumatua,” says Sue Sutherland, Christchurch City Libraries Manager.

“Although the library has been on a bicultural journey for many years, we are looking forward to an even more fruitful relationship with Maori through this link.” Dr Ryan is the Kawai Kaitiaki of the Whakapapa Unit, Te Runaga O Ngai Tahu and recently received an honorary doctorate of science from Lincoln University for his contribution to genealogy.

“Dr Ryan has a long association with the library”, says Sue Sutherland.

“As a customer he has used the collections in the Aotearoa New Zealand Collection. As an advisor he has written the mihimihi to our Whakapapa Guide and Ti Kouka Whenua – the electronic guide to Christchurch and Canterbury Maori history. He has also been involved in our annual Maori Language Week programmes. His knowledge of what we have to offer makes Dr Ryan an especially valuable advisor.”

Christchurch City Libraries plan to make the most of this opportunity. “With Dr Ryan on board we have some exciting plans for the future,” says Sue Sutherland.

“Over the next three years the Library will focus on further developing our understanding of the treaty, our knowledge of Te Reo and Tikanga Maori, developing our services and building further on relationships as part of the journey ‘Towards Mahi Ngatahi’.

“Dr Ryan will work with our Maori Services Librarian, Haneta Pierce, and the Library’s Leadership Team to help us truly meet the needs of Maori and encourage the support of the Maori communities we are serving,” says Sue Sutherland.

A ceremony to welcome Dr Ryan to the Library will be held at the Central City Library on Friday 24 August at 5pm.

Ends

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