A new strategy launched by Heritage New Zealand will give the organisation the ability to protect archaeological sites and other sites of significance to Māori. Māori archaeologist Peter Adds says the current law doesn't provide good protection for land based heritage places.
The newly launched strategy called Tapuwae outlines its new category called "Wāhi Tīpuna" which allows iwi to list places that don't necessarily have tapu associated with them- giving NZ Heritage the ability to stop consent of applications.
Heritage New Zealand says “We’ve been working with hapu and iwi to make sure that some of their places are protected, and of course there are competing arrangements in that and some of them feel that they need to be able to promote their heritage more and we provide a platform for that discussion.”
Mr Adds says “One of the issues that we have as Māori is that we are rapidly losing our land-based cultural heritage and that is a significant issue for us if were interested in our past, and of course we are.”
Heritage New Zealand say that the focus for Tapuwae is pretty ambitious, but it's all about elevating Māori heritage as essential to NZ heritage.