We’re excited to share with you a two-part documentary series titled Te Kura Huna o Te Urewera (The Hidden Treasure of Te Urewera). The documentary details the relationship of the Tūhoe Tuawhenua community and the kererū (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) nestled within the largest rainforest in Aotearoa New Zealand’s North Island, Te Urewera.

Kererū are considered by Tūhoe as a manu rangatira (chiefly bird). Because of the bird’s prominence in whakapapa and its relationship with Tāne Mahuta, the bird is imbued with immense mana.  As a result, there was an extensive kawa (protocols and etiquette) and tikanga (procedures and guidelines) associated with its annual harvest and utilisation. 

The aims of the documentary were to firstly support the inter-generational transfer of mātauranga relating to the kererū within the Ruatāhuna community.  It also advocates for reforms to New Zealand’s conservation policies and legislative warrants that better prioritise the type of connection tangata whenua want with their environments, including the nurturing of both biological and cultural heritage.  As mātauranga is a living knowledge system, Tuawhenua kaumātua recognised that reconnection with their environment on their terms will be critical to regenerating the richness and application of this knowledge. 

The documentary was directed by Puke TimotiPhil Lyver and Herewini Waikato. You can view it here: 

Te Kura Huna o Te Urewera: He Manu Kura (Part 1) 

Te Kura Huna o Te Urewera: He Whenua Kura (Part 2) 

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