Intricate stone carving.

Kaitiaki and Māori Partnerships

Ngā Taonga partners with kaitiaki to acknowledge and recognise the mana and connection of whānau, hapū and iwi to our Taonga Māori Collection.

What is a kaitiaki?

Kaitiaki can be an individual or a collective (like iwi, hapū or whānau) who holds guardianship over items with significant Mātauranga Māori content.

It is important to emphasise that although we care for the taonga (the material) in the collection, we do not consider ourselves kaitiaki, but rather kaipupuri (holders of the taonga).

Kaitiaki and Tiakina

The role of kaitiaki is important at Ngā Taonga, and we have created Tiakina, the Kaitiaki Relationship Framework, to acknowledge and recognise the mana and connection of whānau, hapū and iwi to our Taonga Māori collections.

Learn more about Tiakina – the Kaitiaki Relationship Framework here.

How do we work with kaitiaki?

The Archive works closely with iwi to identify and establish kaitiaki relationships, and effectively reconnect the taonga to identifiable people and places. We also engage with kaitiaki to ensure culturally appropriate use and to protect taonga from any derogatory or offensive public use.

On a wider scale, Ngā Taonga builds relationships with iwi, hapū and whānau to enable them to connect with their rich history. We aim to develop learning and capability-building opportunities, utilising a broad range of pathways including:

  • internships
  • locally provided material
  • mentoring programmes
  • technology support
  • local screening programmes.

The Archive works to balance its dual aims of preserving the collection to the best possible standard and ensuring accessibility. Ngā Taonga maintains its custodial role over the collection, ensuring that kaitiakitanga and ownership of the original items remain with the depositors, and that copyright and intellectual and cultural property rights are protected.

Learn more about items with significant Māori content held in the Taonga Māori Collection.

Our work with kaitiaki

These projects needed the assistance of kaitiaki to clear items with significant mātauranga Māori content.

23 June 2022

Every year Ngā Taonga celebrates Matariki with a short video loop featuring items from the collections.
Matariki night sky

3 February 2023

10,000 pea ngā tāngata i huihui ki te marae o Te Tii ki te whakanui ōkawatanga tuatahi o Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

13 June 2022

Norman was one of 21,000 US Marines who arrived in the Wellington region to prepare for or recover from combat in the Pacific, between June 1942 and November 1943.
A congo line at the American Red Cross "Cecil Club" in Wellington during WWII.