Repatriation team

Learn about the people behind the Karanga Aotearoa repatriation programme.

Te Herekiekie Haerehuka Herewini

Position: Kaiwhakahaere Kaupapa Pūtere Kōiwi (Manager Repatriation)

Te Herekiekie Haerehuka Herewini

Te Herekiekie Haerehuka Herewini is of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Apa, Ngā Rauru Kītahi, Whanganui, Ngā Puhi, and Ngāti Porou descent. He was raised in Rātana pā before his whānauwhānau family moved to Wellington in the 1970s.

Te Herekiekie began his current role in October 2007. His work includes:

  • strengthening the research capability of the repatriation programme
  • providing education materials to inform communities and institutions about the history, trade, and collection of kōiwi tangata Māorikōiwi tangata Māori Māori skeletal remains, kōimi tangatakōimi tangata Moriori skeletal remains and toi mokotoi moko tattooed preserved heads
  • actively reuniting tūpuna (ancestors) with their whānauwhānau familyhapūhapū subtribe, and iwiiwi tribe
  • consulting  with iwiiwi tribes to find appropriate final resting places for kōiwi tangata Māorikōiwi tangata Māori Māori skeletal remains with unclear iwi or regional provenance

Te Herekiekie has a Master of Arts (Honours) in Māori Studies from the University of Auckland.

Contact Te Herekiekie Haerehuka Herewini
Phone: +64 (0) 4 381 7163
Email: TeHerekiekie.Herewini@tepapa.govt.nz

Susan Thorpe

Position: Pou Rangahau Rautaki Kōiwi (Repatriation Researcher)

Susan Thorpe

Susan has returned to Te Papa on a fixed term research contract after an 11-year absence, after starting with Karanga Aotearoa as a senior researcher in 2004.  She is an archaeologist with special interests in landscape archaeology and indigenous methodologies.  Susan also currently works at Hokotehi Moriori Trust as a cultural project manager and resides on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands).

Contact Susan Thorpe
Email: Susan.Thorpe@tepapa.govt.nz

Dr Amber Kiri Aranui

Position: Pou Rangahau Rautaki Kōiwi (Repatriation Researcher)

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Amber is of Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Waikato, and Ngāi Tahu descent. She was born and raised in the Hutt Valley, Wellington.

Amber has a strong background in New Zealand archaeology and anthropology. Her previous experience, knowledge, and existing relationships with iwiiwi tribes and hapū hapū subtribesthroughout the country are assets to the repatriation programme.

Amber joined the repatriation team in 2008. Her work includes:

  • producing research about the history of the trade of toi mokotoi moko tattooed preserved heads and kōiwi tangata Māorikōiwi tangata Māori Māori skeletal remains
  • presenting her research (and the repatriation programme’s history and activities) at national and international forums
  • actively reuniting tūpuna (ancestors) with their whānauwhānau familyhapūhapū subtribe, and iwiiwi tribe
  • developing and maintaining relationships with international institutions
  • connecting with other indigenous communities involved in repatriation to exchange information, support, and experiences
  • being part of an international repatriation research project.

Amber has a passion for research, especially relating to Māori history and material culture. She also has an interest in the wider Pacific.

Amber gained a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Religious Studies from Victoria University, and a Master of Arts in Archaeology from the University of Auckland. In 2019 she gained a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) with Victoria University, focusing on Māori perspectives on repatriation.

Contact Amber Kiri Aranui
Email: AmberA@tepapa.govt.nz

Te Arikirangi Mamaku

Position: Kaitohutohu Kōiwi Tangata (Repatriation Programme Coordinator)

Te Arikirangi Mamaku

Te Arikirangi is of Ngāti Awa, Tūhoe, Ngāti Makino, Ngāpuhi, and Te Arawa descent. He was born and raised in the small township of Te Teko, Bay of Plenty.

Te Arikirangi has a strong background in tikanga Māoritikanga Māori customary Māori practice, te reo Māorite reo Māori the Māori language, kapa hakakapa haka cultural performing arts, mau rākaumau rākau Māori martial arts, and wakawaka traditional canoeing and ocean voyaging. He spent three years as a dancer for the Kahurangi Māori Dance Company, touring North America before returning to Wellington where he worked for a period of time with Toi Māori Aotearoa (Māori Arts New Zealand).

Before taking on his role with the repatriation programme, Te Arikirangi worked for Shell Oil NZ Ltd as a trainer, a subject matter expert, and customer service professional. He has a strong interest in the visual arts, history, tikanga Māori, and foreign languages.

In 2012, Te Arikirangi carried out a one-year secondment to Te Papa’s Experience Directorate as a Producer. While there, he produced a wide range of events and activities with organisations and groups such as the Royal Society of New Zealand, Māori Language Commission, Media Design School, Massey University, Victoria University of Wellington, and Royal New Zealand Ballet. His most significant project has been the planning and delivery of the public events programme for Te Papa’s five-month exhibition Game Masters.

Contact Te Arikirangi Mamaku 
Email: tearikirangim@tepapa.govt.nz