Taonga Tuku Iho: Nelson’s heritage strategy renamed and revamped

30/09/2022 11:30am

A strategy approved by Council Tuesday updates Whakatū Nelson’s approach to preserving our heritage and collective identity so that it is inclusive of te ao Māori values to better represent our region’s collective identity.

Taonga Tuku Iho, Heritage Strategy 2022-2032 (the Strategy) takes the place of the 2006 Heritage Strategy and expands the idea of ‘heritage’ to include the non-physical parts of culture, like stories, language, and tradition, which will also be protected.   

The name Taonga Tuku Iho translates to caring for and nurturing the treasure handed down from our ancestors  

Mayor Rachel Reese says the Strategy plays an important role in protecting our diverse history. 

“We hope the Strategy will provide a framework to enhance the cultural wellbeing and a sense of identity for our community and all the diverse ethnic groups who have settled here over generations.”  

“The word ‘heritage’ typically makes people think of buildings and artefacts, but this strategy helps Whakatū Nelson adopt a broader view of what we protect and hand down to future generations.”  

Mayor Reese says the Strategy needs to be considered as a living document. 

“A taonga has been gifted and we need to be mindful of how we care for this treasure. It’s not a document to sit on the shelf, we need to be accountable to the community and ensure this strategy is updated and remains relevant to all the people of Whakatū.”  

Iwi representative Barney Thomas says Nelson City Council has adopted an exemplary document.  

“The strategy outlines how we’ve got to reach back and remember the past to consolidate where we are now to move forward to the future and leave a legacy for our next generation.  

“I want to congratulate the Council for making our community, our hapori, good ancestors. The ingredient of being a good ancestor is to have documents and agreements like this.”  

A steering group made up of representatives from the eight iwi, key heritage partners, and Council staff will oversee the development of an action plan to implement the strategy.   

The steering group will agree on actions for each of the Pou Kōrero/principal outcomes of the Strategy. These actions will be reviewed annually and led by various community partners in Whakatū Nelson.

Taonga Tuku Iho is available online here