Iwi reject that permission was sought for use of their tukutuku design on new $10 bill

By Heta Gardiner

 Te Hau ki Tūranga Trust is rejecting the claim by the National Reserve Bank, that permission was sought to have their tukutuku patterns on the new ten dollar bills.

This issue erupted when the Te Hau ki Tūranga Trust saw their tukutuku on the new notes that will go into circulation next month. They say they were not consulted and the iwi is not happy about it.

Robyn Rauna says, “This is taking without asking! This is counterfeit!”

The tukutuku from the wharenui of Te Hau ki Tūranga, are on the new $10 note. Something that many will likely see as a positive, having Māori patterns on the note. But Te Hau ki Tūranga Trust feel that, if you look closer, you will see dodgy dealings afoot. 

Rauna says, “Feedback just from our own people is that they are very angry and concerned about what's happening.”

Using them without seeking permission looks to be the biggest issue. Something that has hurt a group that has long since shared their taonga.

“We've given the country access to our wharenui, for over 100 years. So we know better than most, what it means to be sharing and caring people. The key issue here is, it's one of social courtesy,” Rauna says.

Copyright of cultural treasures is something that has been debated over the years. But According to Te Hau ki Tūranga Trust, they are not just after money.

Rauna says, “It's far too early to make assumptions that we are only after some form of recompense.”

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand didn't want to be interviewed on camera today, but they sent a statement saying, "This particular image of the new note was supplied to us as an authorised image by a representative of Te Hau ki Tūranga wharenui."

Rauna says, “No. That's not true.”

Te Hau ki Tūranga, hope to have a dialogue with the Reserve Bank, to find a more favourable outcome.