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23 August 2013
The Chairman of the Board of Te Papa, Evan Williams, has today announced the appointment of Mr Arapata Hakiwai to the role of Kaihautū. Arapata Hakiwai of Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou, and Ngāi Tahu will commence the role on 1 October.
Mr Williams says he’s delighted with the appointment of Arapata who will provide bicultural leadership across the Museum, support the philosophy of Mana Taonga, and further develop the strong networks and relationships he has with iwi (tribes) throughout New Zealand.
“Arapata is an exceptional leader. He is a scholar and recognised authority on taonga Māori. His skills, expertise and guidance will enable Te Papa to continue to fulfil its role as Kaitiaki (guardian) of the taonga (treasures) in its care,” said Evan Williams.
“Te Papa plays an important role in developing and strengthening relationships between iwi, hapū, whānau, communities and their taonga. I am looking forward to continuing this work, and building on these significant relationships,“ said Arapata Hakiwai.
As Kaihautū, he will share strategic leadership with the Chief Executive, Michael Houlihan. Mr Houlihan says he is looking forward to working alongside Arapata as he leads the development of Te Papa’s Mana Taonga capability; provides oversight of the iwi relationship programme, the Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme, iwi in residence and the Marae; and ensures the ethnic and cultural diversity of the People of New Zealand is represented.
“It’s an exciting time at Te Papa with our new Vision to change hearts, minds and lives. Arapata will make a significant contribution to embedding the recent changes that will ensure Te Papa’s future position as one of the World’s leading cultural institutions,” said Michael Houlihan.
In his current role as Head of Mātauranga Māori, and recently as the Scholar, Mātauranga Māori, Arapata has been leading the intellectual direction for Māori research and scholarship at Te Papa. He has established important relationships with communities and institutions in the museum sector across New Zealand and internationally. His curatorial expertise and understanding of taonga (treasures) is well respected. He is currently leading a world-wide research project to identify and create a digital database of Māori and Moriori taonga in museums and galleries both nationally and internationally, which aims to facilitate the digital repatriation of them to reconnect with their people.
Acting Kaihautū Rhonda Paku has also congratulated Arapata on his appointment saying staff have enormous respect for him as a leader and mentor to colleagues.
“I wish him all the very best in this role as he continues to dedicate himself to working in the museum sector. He has a wealth of experience gained over the past twenty-four years since he started as a trainee exhibition curator on a project for the National Museum of New Zealand and the Australian Museum. His ongoing contribution and commitment to Te Papa will be invaluable,” said Rhonda Paku.
For more information: Heather Church 04 3817083 or 029 601 0180
Further biographical details for Arapata Hakiwai