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Appointments to Maori Heritage Council

Hon Judith Tizard Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Media release 31 July 2006

Appointments to Maori Heritage Council

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard today announced the appointment of one new member and the reappointment of an existing member to the Maori Heritage Council of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

The new member, Rima Edwards of Kaitaia, has chaired Te Runanga o Muriwhenua for 18 years, and has been a member of the Tai Tokerau Maori Trust Board since 2001. He was a Kaitaia Borough Councillor for six years and has held numerous offices in Maori and other community organisations. Rima is a cultural and accountancy consultant in the Far North.

Waaka Vercoe of Whakatane, who is being reappointed for a further term, is a kaumatua with skills in local government. His participation in site protection activities under the Resource Management Act 1991 for Environment Bay of Plenty and his work as Maori Policy Advisor on that body for over a decade has brought considerable knowledge and experience to the Council.

Both have been appointed for three-year terms from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2009.

The Minister welcomed both appointments. "I wish to acknowledge Waaka Vercoe's contribution and commitment to the Council and the useful knowledge and connections Mr Edwards brings to the Council. Their regional and cultural awareness will add to the already considerable strengths on the Council," she said.

The Associate Arts, Culture & Heritage Minister Mahara Okeroa expressed his confidence in the appointments.

"Their impressive range of skills and experiences, including their collective knowledge of Maori heritage and culture, will add a strong balance to the Council."

"I am confident that they will serve the needs of the Council and Maori to ensure the protection of Maori cultural sites of significance for the generations to come. I congratulate them both on their appointments," he said.

The Maori Heritage Council, established under the 1993 Historic Places Act, ensures that in the protection of wahi tapu, wahi tapu areas, historic places and historic areas of Maori interest, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) meets the needs of Maori. The Council assists iwi to develop programmes for identification and conservation of these areas.

ENDS

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