Last week, a small ope from Rangitāne o Wairau travelled to Canterbury Museum. Canterbury Museum has recently closed its doors to the public, as it embarks on a redevelopment project which will see the museum almost entirely rebuilt.
Canterbury Museum staff begun planning for the challenge of packing up 2.3 million items within the museum over twelve months ago, and have been engaging with Rangitāne as to the appropriate care and storage of our taonga, which are currently held by the museum, from Te Pokohiwi-o-Kupe.
Our relationship with Canterbury Museum has strengthened over the years, following the repatriation of 2009 that enabled the return of tupuna and artefacts to Te Pokohiwi-o-Kupe, after they were taken from graves some 70 years prior.
Discussions as to the future relationship between Canterbury Museum and Rangitāne is ongoing, particularly in relation to the storage and display of taonga from Te Pokohiwi-o-Kupe. Rangitāne’s long term objective is to be able to return these taonga home to the Wairau.
We acknowledge our kaumātua who were able to travel with us to spend time with our taonga, and to the kaimahi at Canterbury Museum for their manaakitanga during our visit.