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New website connects people and marae

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New website www.maorimaps.com connects people and marae

Te Potiki National Trust this morning officially launched the Māori Maps website, www.maorimaps.com


The site dynamically delivers maps, photographs and information about the tribal marae of Te Tai Tokerau/Northland and Tāmaki/Auckland.


It provides a portal to over 170 marae through the North.


www.maorimaps.com is the first stage of a long-term project to revitalise links between marae, descendants and visitors.


Navigating via an interactive map or quick searches, users can easily locate a marae, get directions, see photos from the gateway and access key information.


The site launch represents five years’ work to establish the venture, attract support and research around the North.


Paul Tapsell and Rereata Makiha founded Te Potiki National Trust in 2006 with the aim of reconnecting young urban Māori – the ‘potiki’ generation – to their home communities and elders.


Marae are the beneficiaries of work by the Māori Maps team.


Tapsell, now professor of Māori Studies at the University of Otago, led the research across the North, accompanied by photographer Krzysztof Pfeiffer, kaumātua Renata Tane, and Rereata Makiha.


“Our marae are places where issues have been resolved for generations. They are central to our identity, which is grounded in ancestral landscapes.


“In recent times our potiki – the young generation – have been growing up away from marae, and as our elders die, our rich traditions, dialects and practices are dying with them.


“The Māori Maps team hopes to be the beginning of a solution, providing a pathway to marae that will benefit all New Zealand.


“It seeks to create a sustainable response to a real crisis: reconnection of new generations of Māori to their tribal identity, and sustaining our marae.”


The site fills a need for a portal that allows easy connection to marae at no cost to iwi, hapū or whānau, and will allow them access to store images and records online.


“We are committed to ongoing contact with runanga (tribal boards) and marae to keep the content and website features up to date,” Tapsell said.


Māori Maps has been funded by the Tindall Foundation, FoRST and the ASB Community Trust, with support from the universities of Auckland (James Henare Māori Research Centre, and Business School via Icehouse/SPARK and Otago (Te Tumu School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies), and Chapman Tripp.


The Māori Maps team is planning its next field research in Bay of Plenty, Otago, Southland and Waikato.


Further features are under development for the site, not least a Te Reo Māori version, iPad and iPhone compatibility, and a layer of mapping of all marae in each runanga and iwi grouping.


– ENDS –


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