June 28, 2021
Museums pledge to return koiwi
Museums around the country have adopted a national repatriation policy for koiwi tangata and associated burial taonga.
Te Papa Tongarewa kaihautu Māori Dr Arapata Hakiwai says it’s important all museums can take a respectful approach to tipuna and the policy adopted at last week’s annual meeting of Museums Aotearoa will help achieve that.
The policy provides guidance for museums and includes a presumption that repatriation to the source community should be the outcome wherever possible.
Dr Amber Aranui, who led the Ngākahu â€“ National Repatriation Project, says repatriation is not an easy process and it can take time to return tūpuna to their whānau, hapū, iwi, as well as to the many overseas nations represented with New Zealand institutions.
She says repatriation is fast becoming part of everyday practice for museums, and the policy provides guidance for museums on how they might build relationships with the people and communities whose ancestors they hold.
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