Auckland Council is committed to the appropriate protection of tangata whenua’s taonga, sites and places of cultural and historic heritage to avoid further deterioration or loss of the region’s fascinating Māori footprint.
The Māori Heritage Team has been created to undertake the ten-year Māori Cultural Heritage Project.
The project is unique in New Zealand at local government level. It’s a collaboration with the iwi of Tāmaki Makaurau, integrating their knowledge (mātauranga Māori) and values into heritage assessments and resource management decisions.
The team is led by Keita Kohere (Ngāti Porou) – who is currently on maternity leave - with support from Siani Walker (Te Atihau-nui-a-paparangi) Lara Taylor (Ngāti Tahu) and Rasheeda Woolford (Ngāti Maniapoto). Both Siani and Lara are professional planners with experience bringing Māori values to planning and Rasheeda’s background is as a researcher and educator.
The Māori Heritage team will also work with other council departments to provide research and policy input, advice and help facilitate management arrangements with Mana Whenua for the protection of taonga and sites and places of cultural and historic heritage.
The team is looking forward to on-going work with iwi and wider communities to celebrate Māori cultural heritage, in particular getting out and around Tāmaki Makaurau to hear the many unique stories about the land, water and people of this rohe.