Tā Tipene O’Regan is well-known as the Chairman of the Ngaitahu Maori Trust Board that led the Ngāi Tahu Claim process before the Waitangi Tribunal, and the subsequent negotiations of the Ngāi Tahu Settlement.
Since the Ngāi Tahu Archive was established in 1978, Tipene has been at the forefront of its evolution, and knows better than most the critical importance of collective memory. He points to the Ngāi Tahu Cultural Mapping Project as an example of an innovative and ground-breaking approach to uncovering, recovering and disseminating Ngāi Tahu history.
‘It is completely owned and operated by our tribal structure. It records our histories, place names and lands on our tribal Geographical Information System for our Ngāi Tahu people. We want to use new technologies and proven archival processes [to give] our people the capacity to evolve as competent, culturally confident and informed Ngāi Tahu, and to be the kind of Ngāi Tahu that they want to be.
Our aim must be to control and shape our own tribal culture to the greatest extent possible. If it is to be ours, we must own it. We must be the primary proprietors of our own knowledge base.”
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