May 27, 2016
Te Papa welcomes ancestors home
Sixty police today acted as pall bearers for the remains of Maori ancestors being brought back to New Zealand.
The bulk of the ancestors welcomed on to Te Papa Tongarewa’s Rongomaraeroa Marae this afternoon were from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, with another half dozen from other museums in the United States and United Kingdom.
Superintendent Wally Haumaha says taking part in such a special and spiritual ceremony was humbling for the staff involved and a real honour for the New Zealand Police.
He says it demonstrates the trust and confidence Maori have in the Police.
It’s the second largest repatriation yet in the Karanga Aotearoa programme.
The remains will be subject to quarantine, conservation and research before being returned, where possible, to whanau or iwi.
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