Thursday March 22, 2018   Last updated 15:06PM

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Rongowhakaata taonga on show
Inside Te Hau Ki Turanga ©Gettyimages

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Rongowhakaata gets a chance to share its stories from next Friday when it takes over the paepae at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.

Ko Rongowhakaata: The Story of Light and Shadow features more than 150 taonga including Te Kooti’s prayer book, Wi Pere’s whalebone tokotoko carved by Raharuhi Rukupo, an original hoe (paddle) traded during Rongowhakaata’s 1769 encounter with James Cook, and the typewriter Witi Ihimaera used to write Pounamu, Pounamu.

Museum kaihautu Arapata Hakiwai, who is himself of Rongowhakaata descent, says the iwi has a special connection with Te Papa because it is the current home of the oldest surviving whare whakairo, Te Hau ki Turanga, which will be the centre piece of the exhibition.

"Something so precious as Te Hau ki Turanga, illegally taken and confiscated by the crown in 1867, the impact that has had since that time, and now we actively work with Rongowhakaata to tell that history and that story within the national museum and I think just as importantly to work with Rongowhakkata to help them realise their aspirations," Dr Hakiwai says.

"During the two and a half year exhibition Rongowhakaata will restore the house in preparation for its eventual move back to Turanga.



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