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Source: New Zealand Government

The Government is continuing to take action to support Māori to safeguard at-risk mātauranga from the ongoing threat of COVID-19, through the extension of the Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku programme.

“We’re continuing to lay the foundations for a better future by prioritising the protection of mātauranga Māori and its importance to Māori cultural identity and wellbeing, and to Aotearoa New Zealand,” Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said.

“There is an urgent need to protect unique and vulnerable mātauranga Māori, working with kaumātua, tohunga, pūkenga and other knowledge holders to ensure its survival and resilience for future generations,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku programme is unique in the wide spectrum of projects it supports, allowing a holistic and cross-discipline approach to protecting mātauranga Māori.”

The Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku programme was first launched in 2020 with $20 million over two years going towards 18 initiatives aimed at preserving mātauranga Māori related to arts, culture and heritage. Among these initiatives were wānanga and training programmes as well as initiatives that increase access to mātauranga and taonga in national heritage collections.

“Many of these projects are ongoing, and this additional $4.5 million investment responds to the real need to support Māori communities in the transmission of mātauranga from one generation to the next, an area which often lacks financial resources. This funding will enable the mahi of participating agencies to continue with momentum.”

“Every round of funding for this initiative has been significantly oversubscribed, so we know there are dozens of amazing initiatives out there that need support to revitalise mātauranga and taonga around Aotearoa.

“An integral part of the extended funding will focus on supporting marae-based projects that protect and revitalise mātauranga and taonga on marae across the motu.

The preservation and revitalisation of mātauranga will also be supported with further funding going to Creative New Zealand, Te Papa, Te Matatini, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga to work with communities through contestable funding, wānanga programmes, internships, and the digitisation of at-risk audio-visual material.

“These initiatives will continue important work from the last two years in partnership with tohunga, arts practitioners and whānau, hapū and iwi across the motu.

“This latest investment underlines our Government’s commitment to partnering with Māori to protect, showcase and prioritise mātauranga Māori across the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio. It is also a reflection of an increased focus to value and recognise the importance of a culturally diverse and inclusive arts sector,” Carmel Sepuloni said.