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World Heritage role a coup for New Zealand

Hon Tau Henare MP
National Party Associate Maori Affairs Spokesman

18 July 2006

World Heritage role a coup for New Zealand

The appointment of Paramount Chief Tumu te Heuheu (Te Heuheu Tükino VIII) as Chair of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is a coup for New Zealand, says National’s Associate Maori Affairs spokesman, Tau Henare.

“Tumu’s prestigious appointment recognises New Zealand’s commitment to heritage preservation, and puts our country at the forefront of an increasingly important global issue.

“It also underpins the visionary approach of his tribe, Ngäti Tüwharetoa, to the protection of heritage in Aotearoa.

“The gifting of central North Island mountains to the nation in 1887 by Mr te Heuheu’s ancestor Horokukü (Te Heuheu Tükino IV) was a first for New Zealand. It enabled the creation of our first ever national park, making it only the second in the world at the time.

“The cultural underpinning of the gift was recognised in 1993 when Tongariro National Park became New Zealand’s first site to be added to the World Heritage List, giving the lead for similar sites globally.

“As a New Zealander, and Maori, I congratulate the Paramount Chief on his appointment. Heritage protection is very much a part of Maori culture, and the 1887 gift has provided a beacon for all tribes in their efforts in heritage matters over a long period of time,” says Mr Henare.


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