Ancestral remains to be returned from Australia 

4 October 2012

In early October, 22 kōiwi tangata (ancestral remains) are to be returned to New Zealand from J.L. Shellshear Museum at The University of Sydney and the Western Australian Museum in Perth.

‘The repatriation of these tupuna (ancestors) is a time for reflection and joy that they are returning to their home land of Aotearoa New Zealand,’ says Michelle Hippolite, Kaihautu of Te Papa.

During this repatriation, 14 kōimi tangata Moriori (Moriori ancestral remains) and 6 kōiwi tangata Māori (Māori ancestral remains) are to be returned from J.L. Shellshear Museum Museum at The University of Sydney and two kōiwi tangata Māori from the Western Australian Museum in Perth.

The Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation programme has been working on the safe return of Māori remains since June 2004. I would like to thank both institutions for their positive decisions and their support in returning these kōiwi tangata to Aotearoa New Zealand’.

The Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation programme aims to repatriate kōiwi and kōimi tangata (Māori and Moriori ancestral remains) from overseas institutions to relevant New Zealand iwi (tribal groups). Te Papa carries out this work on behalf of the New Zealand Government, which provides the funding.

For further information, contact:

Roxan Mathys, Manager Communications (Acting), 029 601 0180, 04 381 7083, RoxanM@tepapa.govt.nz

Download printable version and background information about the Karanaga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme (84.5kB, .pdf)