From the Chair
Kia ora koutou
Our scheduled meeting with Ngāti Waewae and Buller District Mayor Garry Howard in early July was postponed due to a tangi down at Arahura. The hui has now been rescheduled for July 25, so we should have an update for you next month.
In the meantime, we have had further contact from Coaltown Museum in Westport who we are working with in connection to the Taonga recovered from the archaeological digs (those taonga are currently being stored at Canterbury Museum). Coaltown staff have now fully scoped the project and once approved will need to source funding to make the necessary alterations to the museum so that they can appropriately house the Taonga.
In a similar vein, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage have been dealing with a current total of nine Taonga which have been recovered from various locations around Te Tauihu since 2014.
The process until recently has been an invitation to Iwi to claim ownership via a court process in the Māori Land Court. In the case of Te Tauihu, five Iwi lodged claims. As part of that process, it was agreed through the Iwi Chairs Forum that a preferred option would be to work together and formulate a policy and set of protocols for all Taonga tūturu. We all attended a Māori Land Court hearing where the judge agreed with the proposed approach and the appointment of an independent facilitator to assist Iwi in developing relevant protocols and policy around how recovered Taonga will be managed. We expect this will take some time to develop, but this is good progress nevertheless, and much preferred to being faced with having to seek a resolution through the court every time a Taonga is recovered.
Thanks to those of you who agreed to participate in the ethnographic study which we undertook recently. The Board is now awaiting the findings of the study, which will start to inform the strategic direction over the next five to 20 years. We will keep you informed of progress.
We have now set a time and date for the AGM, which will be held Saturday, September 15 in Nelson. I look forward to catching up with many of you there.
Ngā mihi, Brendon Wilson