30 May 2013

Tuhoe hapu given access to rare taonga and photos

7:07 am on 30 May 2013

A Tuhoe hapu will on Thursday will be given access to taonga that have been in the hands of a local shopkeeper for over half a century.

The hapu says shopkeeper Alfred Rimmer, who owned a business in Ruatahuna in the late 1950s and early 1960s, somehow accumulated a range of taonga including photos of past invasions and guns.

Maungapohatu spokesperson Kirituia Tumarae says Mr Rimmer has agreed to give back the taonga, or give the hapu access to the taonga, after years of being asked.

Ms Tumarae says these taonga provide a rare account of some of the tribe's history and means a lot to her people.

She says even as a researcher she has never come across those particular photographs which show the police invasion of Maungapohatu in 1916 when they came to arrest the Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana.

Ms Tumarae says she doesn't want to take the pictures of guns, because there is no place for them, but is interested in all the paperwork.

She says Mr Rimmer will be explaining how he acquired those taonga and the history behind some of the artefacts.