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Major Initiative Between Ngati Hei And Museum

1/07/2005

Major Initiative Between Ngati Hei And Museum

Ngati-Hei iwi, are the autochthon tangatawhenua of Whitianga, who trace their whakapapa back to Kupe and those who sailed with him, have been working closely with the MB Regional Museum project to develop the museum as a major national and international facility.

To date the Museum did not have the facilities to preserve and present the important Taonga from both Ngati Hei and other Coromandel iwi, but the Ngati Hei Trust have recently announced that the now developed plans for the redeveloped Museum has given them the assurances required to enable the Taonga to be integrated throughout the appropriate planned exhibits.

As the kaitiaki (guardians) of this precious coast and its resources, descendants of Ngati-Hei were openly friendly, meeting with Captain Cook and interacting with his crew on their November 1769 visit. Prior to this, Whitianga –nui-a-Kupe ( the full name), commemorates Kupe’s epic voyage from Raiatea to these shores.

Taputapuatea and Tapuaetahi acknowledge the first footfalls of Kupe in Aotearoa. This makes the plans for major exhibits on the great Navigators, and the interaction between Maori and Pakeha from the 1700’s to the present day ideally located in the MB. Regional Museum development.

The ongoing relationship between the museum and Ngati Hei will also ensure that the museum can meet its aim to be able to tell the stories from a secure bi-cultural basis.

An important development is the major initiative to repatriate relevant Taonga, both from collections around NZ and overseas, back to their home in Whitianga. The Museum Project Director will be contacting colleagues throughout the museum sector for their assistance and will be working with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and a specialist unit at Te Papa to identify and arrange the return of items both for inclusion in the museum and for return to Ngati Hei.

For further details, comments or quotes –

please contact Grant Collie, Project Director at the address attached.

ENDS


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