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Taonga Tūturu transition project

In October 2020 our Te Pae Māpuna team moved more than 700 important items classified as taonga tūturu from the University of Auckland conservation facility to a new intermediary facility in South Auckland called Manu Taiko serviced by the Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum

Manatū Taonga is a caretaker of taonga tūturu under the Protected Objects Act 1975.

These taonga tūturu include long kō (digging stick) , kāheru/kōheru (spade), teka (footstool for the kō), timo (weeding stick), hoe waka parts (paddle parts), huata (spear), kumete (vessel – typically wood), carved fragments and more.

We are working closely with Iwi, hapū and whānau to return many of these taonga tūturu to the region they came from or move them to temporary intermediary storage facilities in Auckland.

The transition is also a result of a change in our conservation approach, to align more with the aspirations of Iwi, hapū and whānau who are ultimately kaitiaki of these taonga tūturu.

In tandem with the move, work is being undertaken to establish a supplier panel of conservators for the purpose of providing ongoing and future conservation care for these taonga tūturu.

Our vision is to see all these taonga tūturu returned to their place with Iwi, hapū and whānau as kaitiaki, as the taonga are an inspiring, tangible link to the history of Māori and Aotearoa.

If you have any questions, get in touch with our Te Pae Mapuna team:

[email protected]

Watch the transition project in action

We wanted to capture the transition of the taonga on the day to share how we operate, as well as the insights and implications of a project such as this.  

Overview of the transition approach

Learn more about the role of Manatū Taonga and the approach to this mahi.


Learn more about the proceedings on the day of the transition.


Learn more about the practicalities of the project and elements to plan for.

Updated on 28th July 2022