March 08, 2021
Land deeds offer wealth of information
More than 6000 deeds for historic land purchases by the crown all over New Zealand have been added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Aotearoa New Zealand Register.
It's one of five new collections added to the register, which records significant items and documents that add to a country's heritage and collective history.
Jared Davidson, a senior archivist at Archive NZ's Ohu Hapori working group, says they're important records of how land and customary title was alienated from Māori.
Each deed includes physical descriptions of the land, maps or plans, conditions of sale, the purchase price, as well as a lot of te reo Māori and names and tohu of tūpuna.
"While they do document massive scale of change locally, they have also been used by researchers to hold the crown to account to address treaty breaches and also to revitalise te reo and whakapapa," Mr Davidson says.
The other collections added to the UNESCO register are the Robin Hyde Literary and personal papers held by the Alexander Turnbull Library and the University of Auckland, the Olaf Petersen collection of nature photography in Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Colin and Anne McCahon papers in Otago University's Hocken Collections, and the manuscript of Suzanne Aubert’s book Māori Conversation held by the Sisters of Compassion.
Copyright © 2021, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com