Archives New Zealand and Taranaki iwi have celebrated the completion of the 12 month Taranaki Reo Revitalisation project with a ceremony held at Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office on Friday 11 December.
The department and Te Reo o Taranaki Charitable Trust began working together on the project in January 2009. Contributing to the Taranaki Reo Strategy the project provides access to important records, written in te reo Taranaki from 1860 to 1900. Relating to nga iwi o Taranaki the records are held in Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office.
Archives New Zealand’s Acting Chief Executive Greg Goulding welcomed the 40-strong group of representatives from Taranaki iwi. He congratulated them on the success of the project, made possible by the expertise, good will and hard work of all concerned.
“The vision of this project will make these valuable tāonga available to future generations,” he said.
Hemi Sundgren, Chairman of Te Reo o Taranaki, was overwhelmed by the quantity and content of the documents he has seen so far.
"It is only through a positive working relationship with Archives New Zealand that we have been able to access a wealth of relevant information pertaining to all our iwi in Taranaki," he said.
During the ceremony Archives New Zealand handed over the digital images of the archives to the Trust and both parties signed the partnership document.
Te Reo o Taranaki Trust iwi researcher Neavin Broughton has been based at Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office for the duration of the project. He has worked with departmental staff to identify the records and produce digital images for future use by Te Reo o Taranaki.
During the project over 250,000 files have been researched, 50,000 files have been accessed and 1,000 digital images have been taken.
The project is one of several partnerships between Archives New Zealand and iwi, including Ngāi Tahu, Tainui and Tūhoe, which have produced digital material relating to their individual requests.
Pictured below: Taranaki iwi at the ceremony; and Archives New Zealand's Kaumatua Ihai Biddle, Acting Chief Executive Greg Goulding and Government Recordkeeping Acting Group Manager John Roberts during the celebration ceremony at Archives New Zealand's Wellington Office.