The National Preservation Office and National Services Te Paerangi in Tūhoe Country
For five days during mid July, Development Officers Gavin Reedy and Ian Wards, alongside the intrepid Te Papa conservator Nirmala Balram, combined forces with the stirling Vicki-Anne Heikell of the National Preservation Office (NPO) to venture forth to the frosty shores of Lake Waikaremoana. The goal? To rehouse and shift significant Tūhoe taonga into a new storage facility near the Department of Conservation Aniwaniwa visitor centre in Te Urewera National Park. The visitor centre currently suffers from significant structural problems and these precious taonga were at considerable risk from the damp conditions they were housed in. An urgent request for assistance was sent out by DoC Ranger Richard Wagner and the NPO/Te Papa team swung into action.
This intense, but rewarding mahi, was conducted with the blessing and assistance of the tangata whenua of Tuai, Waikaremoana.
[Image label] Nirmala Balram working with Te Rangi Gilbert of Tuai, to clean and pack taonga for safe storage.