September 7, 2022

2022 Winter Student Working With Taonga Tuku Iho - Sophia Newton

2022 Winter Student Working With Taonga Tuku Iho - Sophia Newton

Tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Pirongia te maunga
Ko Waipa te awa
Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Kahungunu me Waikato Tainui ngā iwi
Ko Ngāti Parewaeono te hapū
Ko Te Keeti te marae
Nō Kirikirioa au
Ko Sophia Newton tōku ingoa


I am studying part-time for a Master of Museum and Heritage Studies at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington.  My main interest has been the often-fraught relationship between Māori and museums in Aotearoa as well as overseas. I am particularly passionate about the care of taonga within these museums as well as the mana attached to whānau caring for their own taonga. I credit my experience with my whānau and caring for our taonga and whenua in Otorohanga as the source of this passion.

I am currently working at Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage as a policy advisor and prior to this role, I was an assistant programme coordinator for the Mātauranga Māori programme at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga with a focus on grant funding.  Previously, I have also worked as a research assistant at Te Papa Tongarewa.

I am grateful and honoured to have been awarded a Winter Studentship with Whakauae Research and to work alongside pou tikanga Utiku Potaka. Together we will collate a comprehensive inventory of taonga tuku iho of significance to Ngāti Hauiti and develop a plan for the first in a series of exhibitions to display some of these taonga. I'm excited and privileged to learn more about Ngāti Hauiti and am looking forward to visiting Rātā and spending time with the team in Whanganui.

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