Conserving Māori heritage

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga employs specialist Pouārahi in regional offices across Aotearoa to assist kaitiaki Māori in navigating heritage protection frameworks.

Pouārahi | Māori Heritage Advisors

Pouārahi and Tira staff provide advice to whānau hapū, iwi, and marae on the preservation, conservation, recognition and management of Māori heritage places and Ngā Tapuwae o Ngā Tupuna – ancestral footprints. They can also provide advice on strategies, mechanisms and management tools.

The kaupapa for Māori heritage within Pouhere Taonga is to support the management and kaitiakitanga by whānau, hapū and iwi of their heritage places, whether through hands-on preservation, statutory recognition, education, wānanga, workshops, research, liaison or advocacy.

Mangahawea courtesy of James Robinson
Poutairangahia | Archaeology

Archaeology is the study of the ancestral footprints of those who have gone before. With the help of archaeological processes and techniques, these footsteps can inform the world we live in today and help to shape our future.

It is unlawful to modify or damage an archaeological site without obtaining an archaeological authority. Tāngata whenua must be consulted where such sites are culturally significant to Māori.

Considering that there are many sites around Aotearoa at risk of development, destruction and erosion, the need to have whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities’ input into the consenting process is essential.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga will contact Māori communities including whānau, hapū and iwi to ensure that those communities are included in the process.

Taratara Wāhi Tūpuna (List no.9851)
Rārangi Kōrero | The List

The New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero (Rārangi Kōrero) is the Government’s national list identifying historical and cultural places that are significant to Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Pou Rārangi Kōrero and Pouārahi work with applicants and Māori communities to research, write and produce detailed reports on wāhi tapu, wāhi tapu areas and wāhi tūpuna/tīpuna. Reports are publicly notified for submissions. The Māori Heritage Council will then decide and approve the listing of that wāhi. 

Listing the wāhi tapu, wāhi tapu areas and wāhi tūpuna/tīpuna of your rohe recognises and promotes the mana and tapu of those wāhi on the Rārangi Kōrero.



There are a range of agencies that offer financial assistance for those who wish to protect and conserve heritage places. This includes funding for rapid assistance to marae and hapori Māori affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Funding for Māori heritage
Aotearoa Unearthed: Archaeology
Episodes include archaeological landscapes through a Māori lens, protecting archaeological sites in Aotearoa, Waikato wetland pā and more. (Photo: Mangahāwea Bay, Moturua Island.)
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