Skip to main content

History funding to put Māori and Pacific stories in the spotlight

Media release: 30 November 2021

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage today announced funding grants for 24 community-based history projects, with the highest ever number of kaupapa Māori and Pacific stories funded. 

Funding will be administered through the Ministry’s two history grants, Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho Oral History Grants and Whiria Te Mahara NZ History Grants. Both grants support projects that contribute to the study of Aotearoa New Zealand history.

“A particular focus is promoting ngā korero tuku iho, oral histories from diverse communities, so we were thrilled to see a huge increase in people wanting to explore Māori and Pacific stories this year,” said Neill Atkinson, Acting Deputy Chief Executive Delivery at Manatū Taonga.

Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho supports anyone leading an oral history project. This year, the grants will provide $130,558 to fund 15 previously unrecorded histories, including:

Seila (Natu) Vaeluaga’s family story, told in their own language, about their experience moving to Aotearoa to escape sea level rise. The project will share traditional Tuvaluan and Tokelauan mātauranga with younger generations.

Seila (Natu) Vaeluaga’s grandparents, image is courtesy of Seila (Natu) Vaeluaga.

Reuben Woods and Bobby Hung will capture the stories of contemporary graffiti artists, shedding new light on a subversive and youth-centric subculture.

Jade Jackson will give voice to Falema’l Lesa, a Samoan national resident who famously appealed her visa overstay conviction in 1982. For the first time, we will be able to hear Lesa’s story from her own perspective and in her native language of Samoan.

Meanwhile, Whiria Te Mahara supports historians, researchers and writers working on non-fiction history projects. The 2021 grants will award a total of $103,400 for nine projects.

“Traditionally, these grants have gone toward book projects, so we are especially excited about two projects that will bring history to the community in new and accessible ways,” Neill Atkinson said.

Mere Whaanga will produce a digital cultural map of Pāparatu Station, an isolated sheep station with a storied past including several pā, one of which was the site of the first battle between Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Tūruki and the Crown in 1868.

The Ōtorohanga Historical Society will create historical panels for their local museum based on different topics relating to their region’s history.

Other projects funded include a major new illustrated cultural history of Flying Nun Records and biographies of three significant New Zealanders – architects Rewi Thompson and Gerard Melling, and poet Ruth Dallas.

“Tēnā koutou to all of this year’s applicants, and whakamihi to our funding recipients. The fascinating stories coming out of these projects will help shape and deepen our shared understanding of what it means to be a New Zealander,” said Neill Atkinson.

Once completed, most projects will be stored in a public archive chosen by the recipient.

Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho Oral History Grants Fund 2021

  Name Project Amount Place of Residence
1 Seila (Natu) Vaeluaga Our journey from Fale Sanilaiti $9,700 Tauranga
2 Jade Jackson Lesa v Attorney-General of New Zealand $6,000 Whakatū Nelson
3 Rev Dr Featuna’i Liua’ana A History of the CCS/EFKS Churches $6,000 Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
4 Te Vaka Cook Islands of Dunedin Inc Akapapa’anga nō te iti tangata $8,000 Otepoti Dunedin
5 Rochelle Mackintosh Life experiences of ngā uri o Te Rimu Trust $5,000 Heretaunga Lower Hutt
6 Viola Vadasz and Peter Farago Wave by wave, story by story: Hungarians in New Zealand $9,982.95 Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
7 Hamilton Cook Islands Association Taro Patch Series $8500 Kirikiriroa Hamilton
8 Nina Raharuhi Hiringa A Rangi 2018, A Tohorā washed up on our shores $10,000 Kaitaia, Te Tai Tokerau Northland
9 Whitiaua Ropitini Nā Mahuetanga Mai – Whāriki, Rangatira Marae $10,000 Te Karaka, Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa Gisborne
10 Reuben Woods and Bobby Hung 100 Aotearoa Graffiti Artists – A Survey of New Zealand Graffiti 1980-2021 $10,000 Otautahi Christchurch
11 Rangitihi Pene Covid-19 Te Arawa’s Response 2020-2022 $9,300 Rotorua
12 Ilai Manu Fagatua, the indigenous wrestling of Tokelau $6,500 Tokelau Diaspora
13 Maraea Herbert-Pickering and Harata Herbert Three Marae, One People $12,810 Pawarenga, Te Tai Tokerau Northland
14 Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata Wai-o-Turi Marae, Parara-ki-te-uru (Turi-Captain of Aotea waka-spring) $7,875 Patea
15 Paora Te Kakapaiwaho Tibble Hato Paora College Oral History Project Whāia Te Tika $10,890 Gisborne Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa

Whiria Te Mahara New Zealand History Grants 2021

  Name Project Amount Place of Residence
1 Diana Morrow Ruth Dallas: A Life $10,000 Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
2 Hamish McDougall Staying Alive: New Zealand, Britain and European integration, 1960-85 $12,000 Porirua
3 Mere Whaanga A cultural map of Pāparatu Station $12,000 Mahia
4 Ōtorohanga Historical Society Information text panels for Ōtorohanga Museum $12,000 Ōtorohanga
5 John Walsh Nobody’s Soldier: Gerald Melling, architect and writer $12,000 Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
6 Bolin Hu Caught In-Between: Chinese in New Zealand, New Zealanders in China and the War in Asia, 1931–1949 $12,000 Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
7 Ross Webb 'In Defence of Living Standards': The Federation of Labour, Politics, and Economic Crisis, 1975-1987 $12,000 Heretaunga Lower Hutt
8 Roger Shepherd Great Sounds Great: Journeys Through the Music of Flying Nun Records $12,000 Wellington Te Whanganui a Tara
9 Jade Kake Rewi Thompson $9,400 Wellington Te Whanganui a Tara

Updated on 18th February 2022