Hinemihi carvings step closer to returning home


Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is delighted with the in-principle support from the National Trust in England to return the Hinemihi carvings home to Aotearoa New Zealand in exchange for new carvings.

The National Trust support follows proactive contact made by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga to return these carvings, last seen in Aotearoa New Zealand in the early 1890s, home to Ngāti Hinemihi.

The in-principle support is an important first-step as discussions continue with the Guildford Borough Council and the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, who together are the decision makers in approving their return.

"We are indebted to the National Trust’s guardianship of these hugely significant carvings since being placed in their care in 1956," says Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Chief Executive Andrew Coleman.

"The open and positive discussions between the National Trust, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and Ngāti Hinemihi have been highlighted with reciprocal visits and face-to-face discussions.

"While acknowledging there are still more discussions to be had before the return of the Hinemihi carvings are confirmed, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga believes this is a very positive and important step in seeing Ngāti Hinemihi taonga returned home.

"We agree with the National Trust’s view that this proposed exchange takes forward the story of Hinemihi.  It is in keeping with tikanga and Te Ao Māori principles that these carvings are returned."

Media contact:

Jamie Douglas
Manager Communications
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga
email: jdouglas@heritage.org.nz
tel: (m) 027 683 9065; (DDI) 04 470 8066.

Caroline Sigley
Head of External Communications
National Trust (United Kingdom)
email: Caroline.Sigley@nationaltrust.org.uk  [Please note the time difference]