Taonga Māori Collection

The Te Kooti Trail (Rudall Hayward, 1927) cast and crew on location.

Pānuihia mā te reo Māori

Items held at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision that are considered to have significant Māori content are known as the Taonga Māori Collection.

The collection encompasses visual and audio items from around Aotearoa, and covers a range of genres and subjects, including records of karanga, whaikōrero, iwi and hapū histories, pōwhiri, wharenui and marae, kapa haka, Waitangi Day events (dating from 1934), weaving demonstrations, tukutuku, whakairo, and many more.

Te Pūtakenga Mai | Origins

The Taonga Māori Collection began in the early 1980s, when the then Film Archive acquired a collection of unedited images filmed by James McDonald in the 1920s for the Dominion Museum.

McDonald travelled with Sir Apirana Ngata and Te Rangihīroa (Sir Peter Buck) to Gisborne, the East Coast, Rotorua, Ruatāhuna and the Whanganui River. He recorded images of whānau, hapū and iwi 30 years before urbanisation brought significant changes to the Māori world.

The preservation of this material required careful physical conservation of the films. To develop context around the material, hui were held with iwi, and research undertaken of the original notes taken by McDonald, Elsdon Best and Johannes Anderson.

To enhance the Taonga Māori Collection, we continue to engage in dialogue with iwi about developing best practice around the appropriate representation of tūpuna and their activities.

Tangata Whenua: The Spirits and Times will Teach (Pacific Films, 1974). Left to right: Tuaiwa Hautai Eva Rickard (Tainui Āwhiro), Herepō Rongo (Tainui Āwhiro), and Michael King.

Ēnei Rā | Today

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision continues to grow its collection of items significant to iwi Māori through deposits or through collection of material.

Where there are proposals to re-use material from the Taonga Māori Collection, we work with kaitiaki to ensure that the items have appropriate cultural permissions.

Still from Te Rua (Barry Barclay, 1991). This image is housed in Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision's Documentation Collection, as part of the Jonathan Dennis Collection.
As the Taonga Māori Collection grows, so too does the Archive’s responsibility to house and care for the taonga

Material with significant Māori content automatically becomes part of the Taonga Māori Collection until such time that iwi discern differently.

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Whakamahia ai mātou ngā pihikete ki te rapu māramatanga ki te āhua o tō whakamahi i tēnei paetukutuku, ki te whakapai hoki i tō whai wāhi mai. Ki te rapu kōrero anō pānuitia te kaupapahere tūmataiti.