Digital resource for the generation:

Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust are putting the $25,000 grant received from our Mātauranga Māori Programme towards creating digital resources that will help retain connections between people and land. 

Rangitāne rangatahi stand together at the top of Botanical Hill, Nelson, the centre of Aotearoa.
Whakatu: Rangitāne rangatahi at the top of Botanical Hill. Photo: Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau.expand/collapse

Using videography and aerial drones, this cultural mapping project aims to create a series of short videos. The funding comes from one of 20 grants awarded last year. Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga received a portion of the Government’s Te Awe Kōtuku funding for a work program to support revitalisation of vulnerable mātauranga Māori. 

The team working on the project can all whakapapa to Rangitāne o Wairau, including the videographers, historians, narrators and transcribers. Their connections and knowledge are essential to the gathering of site information and the oral histories of Rangitāne o Wairau kaumātua. Communications Manager Jodie Palatchie who is leading the project, described this “as an opportunity for our ‘Te Reo me ōna Tikanga and Rangatahi Champions’ to attend a hīkoi (journey) to significant sites as we produce a series of six short videos telling the stories of key Rangitāne o Wairau sites.” 

The iwi’s area of interest spreads out from Waiau-toa (Clarence) River, up through Wairau (Marlborough) and the Nelson Lakes into the Marlborough Sounds and Whakatū Nelson. 

Project Executive, Corey Hebberd, who is the General Manager of Te Runanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust, said they hoped to have ongoing digitisation projects. 

“Digitising the iwi’s history would not only preserve the stories and connections to important sites, but would also provide a way for iwi members all over the country and the world to stay connected to their whenua and traditions,” says Corey.  

As people have moved away from the area, it has become difficult to hand traditions and stories down through the generations. According to Corey, disruptions from Covid-19 had only emphasised the need for digital, virtual or distanced ways to share information and history. 

They are hopeful that the digital resources will be available through their website by mid-2022. 

Project Lead Jodie Palatchie is grateful for the funding: “I feel that it’s really important, and actually it’s great to have this funding come through Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga because this project is all about heritage. These stories will be appreciated by the whole community.” 

- David Watt and Niki Partsch