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Ed Sheeran

Court puts fishhooks in taonga plan

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East Coast iwi Te Aitanga a Hauiti has been told it must learn to work together to take responsibility for some significant taonga tuturu.

The Maori Land Court was dealing with a request from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage to determine the traditional ownership of artefacts found at Opoutama Cooks Cove in Tolaga Bay.

They include a matau or fish hook found by John Mason in 1992 when he was 7 or 8 and handed in to Tairawhiti Museum in 2011, and a further 11 moa bone and shell matau found by archaeologist Chris Jacomb in 2007 and given by him to the museum the following year.

After a series of hearings the court was unable to get agreement from representatives of Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti Iwi Incorporated (TAHI), Hauiti Marae and the Proprietors of Hauiti Incorporation as to who should have responsibility for their care.

Rather than pick one of the factions, Deputy Chief Judge Caren Fox determined traditional ownership of the taonga tuturu resides in the members of nga hapu associated with Opoutama Cook’s Cove who are also Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti.

She vested the taonga in Hauiti Marae, the incorporation, Te Aitanga a Hauiti Charitable Trust and TAHI jointly.

They are discuss future care arrangements with the Tairawhiti Museum to ensure the taonga are preserved either at the museum or a similar storage and display facility at Tolaga Bay.

Copyright © 2018, UMA Broadcasting Ltd:

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