Protecting Māori Heritage

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga employs specialist pouārahi (Māori Heritage Advisers) and other regional staff based in its offices in Kerikeri, Auckland, Tauranga, and Wellington.  The pouārahi form part of a national team led by the Kaihautū Māori and supported by a senior Māori policy analyst in the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga national office.

Working on carving

Ko tēnei te rōpū hei tautoko i ngā iwi, hapū, whānau hoki. He rōpū āwhina hei hāpai i te kaupapa ‘Tiaki Taonga’.

Pouārahi and other Pouhere Taonga staff such as archaeologists, architects and planners can provide advice to iwi and hapū on the preservation, conservation, protection and management of Māori heritage places. They can also provide advice on the strategies, mechanisms and management tools available to iwi and hapū to exercise their kaitiakitanga and manage their heritage. Each is treated on its individual merits.

The kaupapa for Māori Heritage within Pouhere Taonga is to support the management and kaitiakitanga by whānau, hapū and iwi of their heritage places - whether through hands-on preservation, registration, education, workshops, research, liaison or advocacy.

Māori Buildings Conservation Programme

Wharenui, wharekai, pātaka, waka and other forms of Māori built heritage are an important taonga.  Pouhere Taonga actively assists whānau, iwi and hapū initiatives to preserve these taonga through a range of advisory and on-site services including technical advice and assessments, conservation workshops and funding advice.

Māori Heritage and Archaeology

The Heritage New Zealand Act 2014 defines an archaeological site as a place associated with pre-1900 human activity where there may be evidence relating to the history of Aotearoa/New Zealand. It is unlawful to modify or damage an archaeological site without first obtaining an archaeological authority from Heritage New Zealand.  

Tāngata whenua must be consulted where such sites are culturally significant to Māori.

Māori Heritage and the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero

The New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero (‘the List’) identifies historical and cultural places that are significant to Aotearoa/New Zealand.  Entry on the List is a process that informs landowners and the public about these places, can support their protection, and applications for funding for preservation work.  Members of the Tira liaise closely with tāngata whenua and other interested groups when preparing proposals for wāhi tapu, wāhi tapu areas and wāhi tūpuna.

Decisions for entry on the List of wāhi tapu, wāhi tapu areas and wāhi tūpuna are made by the Māori Heritage Council.  The Council needs to be satisified that there is sufficient evidence to support such a proposal and that tāngata whenua endorse it.

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Discover the diversity of our heritage places.

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Te Marae: A journey of discovery

The enormous significance to Māori of marae, as places of belonging where ritual and culture can be preserved, is explored in this 1992 documentary.  It can be viewed on New Zealand On Screen.

Made in conjunction with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, and directed by Peter Turei, it chronicles the programme to restore marae buildings and taonga around the country.  The documentary features some of our oldest marae, as well as one of the newest, Tapu Te Ranga, in Wellington’s Island Bay.

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