over Google Maps here comes Maori Maps, making it possible
for Maori to find their way back to their cultural homes thanks
to a website being launched tomorrow.
Maps aims to document more than 800 tribal marae to help save a
heritage under threat.
Potiki National Trust began setting up Maori Maps five years ago
as a response to an emerging crisis Maori being alienated
from their roots.
University professor Paul Tapsell, who helped found the trust, said
many young people did not know how to find their way back to their
cultural homes, and as a result traditional marae the focus
of tribal values since Maori arrived in Aotearoa were under
people in the cities are disconnected from this incredible 3000-plus-year
value system they once belonged to.
is partly why we have so many youth issues and young people drifting.
have no sense of connection to a unique and proud past, or sense
of ancestral identity."
problem was not just an issue for Maori, he said. "This is
New Zealand's twin streams of identity. If we lose this, we will
have lost what really makes us unique as a nation."
Maps would begin to reconnect Maori to their cultural heritage,
we're trying to do is to offer a pathway to the marae gate, where
Maori can safely rediscover and maintain their tribal identity."
part of the evolution of marae we need to find a way to evolve
marae culture so it remains relevant and useful, as has been the
case for thousands of years.
to find a way forward could see tribal marae culture die."
website allows users to locate historical marae, contact authorities,
view photos and even get directions, and Tapsell hoped Maori Maps
would help the 800-plus tribal marae revitalise themselves.
a quarter of tribal marae were beyond rescue, half were in a "state
of decline", while the remaining quarter were in reasonable
condition, he said. The "dying" marae were often isolated
socially and geographically.
said the traditional passing down of knowledge from elder to grandchild
had been disrupted by urbanisation, so Maori Maps would reconnect
many city-based people to their home communities and elders.
about sharing in what makes New Zealand unique.
take away the tribal marae way of being Maori, you take away New
Zealand's most important point of difference."
earnings from the project would be used to develop programmes to
reconnect youth and resources to home marae and improve Maori wellbeing.
trust has already mapped and photographed marae in Auckland and
Northland and work had started to include the rest of New Zealand.
to Maori Maps
Find your way to the tribal marae of Aotearoa New Zealand
through maps, information and photographs.
Marae are the centres of Maori identity and activity. Maori Maps
provides a nationwide map of marae, with photos of each marae, contact
and background information, and photographs. There are also restricted
access areas that marae themselves can use to store their data and