Kā Huru Manu, The Ngāi Tahu Cultural Mapping Project, is dedicated to mapping the traditional Māori place names and associated stories within the Ngāi Tahu rohe (tribal area). Place names are tangible reminders of the Ngāi Tahu relationship with the landscape of Te Waipounamu. Over 5,000 place names have been mapped and fully referenced from whānau manuscripts, published books, 19th century maps, newspaper articles and a vast array of unpublished material.
Kā Huru Manu is administered by the Ngāi Tahu Archive Team alongside the 18 Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnaka, and under the guidance of Te Pae Kōrako. Established in 2012, Te Pae Kōrako is responsible for the overview and development of the Ngāi Tahu Archive. It provides advice to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to ensure that the Archive is well-managed, with systems in place to ensure the integrity, validity and accessibility to Ngāi Tahu whānui.
The Ngāi Tahu Archive Team manages the Ngāi Tahu Archive which comprises the collections of the Ngaitahu Maori Trust Board, the records of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and personal papers. Through digital repatriation the Archive is increasingly becoming a repository for archives of tribal significance held by external institutions. In 2019 the Ngāi Tahu Archive Team launched Kareao which provides unprecedented access to the Ngāi Tahu Archive. The team also provides support to Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnanga and whānau for the care of their own collections.
Making Ngāi Tahu knowledge available to Ngāi Tahu people is central to the work of the Ngāi Tahu Archive Team. The release of Kā Huru Manu and Tāngata Ngāi Tahu: People of Ngāi Tahu in 2017 greatly enhanced the connection between the Ngāi Tahu Archive and iwi members. Both projects also brought national recognition to the Ngāi Tahu Archive, and the recent decision of the New Zealand Geographic Board to recognise Kā Huru Manu as an authoritative publication is an international precedent.
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