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New processes for newly found taonga tūturu during COVID-19 response

Media release: 7 April 2020

Ā mātou tikanga hou i tēnei wā o te noho mōriroriro

New Processes during COVID-19 response

E ngā kaipupuri, e ngā kaitiaki o ngā taonga tūturu, tēnā koutou.
We want to update you on newly found taonga tūturu processes, during the current COVID-19 situation.

Ina kitea mai he taonga tūturu i tēnei wā

Finding taonga tūturu during COVID-19 response

Please hold on to any taonga tūturu you find while New Zealand is responding to the COVID-19 situation. Please also email [email protected] with information about what you have found and where you found it, and whether you have any questions or concerns about caring for it over this time. As always, we are happy to provide support and advice. 

We usually ask for newly found taonga tūturu to be taken to a nearby public museum for examination and registration under the Protected Objects Act 1975 (the Act). However, public museums are closed, and we urge people to follow government guidelines regarding self-isolation and physical distancing. For this reason, we are asking you to hold on to any taonga tūturu you find.

However, if you find wet wood/organic taonga tūturu we can connect you with a conservator via email, phone, or video conferencing. They can provide further support and advice and help you to put a process in place to keep the taonga safe over this time.

Ngā tukanga kerēme me ngā tono i tēnei wā

Claims and application process during COVID-19 response

While the times are unsettled, Manatū Taonga is continuing with its work to administer the Act. We will continue to process newly found taonga tūturu cases as much as possible over this time.

We may get in touch with you with questions about claims for ownership of taonga tūturu, or with information about taonga tūturu that’s been found.

Be assured, any contact we make over this time is not urgent. We know community kōrero is an important part of the process and understandably this will be limited by the Level Four restrictions currently in place. We also acknowledge every community will have many other concerns right now. We will ensure you have plenty of time to meet any obligations under the Act and will support you in any way we can.

The courts, including the Māori Land Court, are only planning to process critical and time-sensitive matters during and post the lock-down period. As such all our applications to the Court are on hold, and we will not be making any applications until public life returns to post COVID-19 normal.

Please continue to contact the team member you would normally be in touch with, on their usual email address or mobile phone number.

For general enquires, information and complaints please continue to contact us on:

Phone:  +64 4 499 4229
Email: [email protected]

Please visit to find everything you need to know about COVID 19 in one place.

Kia haumaru te noho.


Updated on 5th May 2020