Fund established to safeguard mātauranga and taonga

By Te Ao - Māori News

Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni

Māori will now have support from the government to protect their mātauranga and taonga on marae, with the launch of a $5.7 million contestable fund.

Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced the new fund called Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora.

“Whakapapa and cultural identity for tangata whenua are held within marae across the motu. Marae also play an integral part in preserving the cultural vitality of Māori and Aotearoa. This identity is unique to the world, and this fund is a step towards protecting our country’s mātauranga and taonga for future generations,” Sepuloni says.

With Covid-19 putting mātauranga and taonga held on marae at risk, along with low numbers of mātauranga holders and limited resources, Sepuloni believes the fund will help with supporting their preservation.

“The Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora Fund offers support for a range of marae-based projects. This includes the development of conservation plans for whare and wharenui arts, the establishment of harvest areas for cultural materials such as pā harakeke and tōtara, and the preservation of taonga such as waka tīwai, korowai and photographs.

“Funding is also available to assist with the creation of archives, small whare taonga or publications as a way to both preserve and provide access to mātauranga and taonga on marae."

The Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora Fund is part of a wider $20 million Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku programme announced in December 2020. It includes 18 initiatives to support iwi, hapū and Māori communities to safeguard at-risk mātauranga Māori and protect indigenous knowledge from the threat of Covid-19.

The Mātauranga Māori Marae Ora Fund was developed in partnership between Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs, Te Puni Kōkiri and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.