Museum exhibition an opportunity for racial unity
10 December 2009
For Immediate Release
“Museum exhibition an opportunity for racial unity” says Maori leader.
Ngapuhi leader and chief of Hone Heke’s hapu, David Rankin, is welcoming an exhibition opening in Russell this coming Monday. The Russell Museum is hosting a collection of taonnga that Mr Rankin has lent it, which belonged to his ancestor, Hone Heke.
“We feel that there is a need to show these taonga to the people of New Zealand, in order that they gain a better appreciation of our shared history”, says Mr Rankin. “My hope is that after the division caused by some of our people recently, with comments that upset many of our Pakeha compatriots, this will help foster unity among the Treaty partners”.
Mr. Rankin is the guardian of the largest collection of taonga relating to Hone Heke anywhere in the world, and has allowed some of these items to go on tour around the country and overseas. “These items are priceless”, he says, “ but their role is in increasing people’s understanding of our history”. One of Mr Rankni’s concerns is that young people leaving school now have little knowledge of their own istory.
“It’s a scandal”, he says, “ but through exhibitions like this, we hope to turn this around and bring to all New Zealanders a sense of where they come from”.