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National: Hinemihi carvings returned to Aotearoa

9:55 am on 20 September 2022

Photo: The Hinemihi meeting house on the grounds of Clandon Park in Surrey.

Māori carvings dated back to the 19th Century will be returned to Aotearoa from London in exchange for new carvings.

The 48-strong delegation of Hinemihi descendants, Te Hono o Hinemihi, will travel to Surrey to retrieve carvings from the Hinemihi meeting house, which was once used as shelter in Rotorua during the Tarawera eruption of 1886.

The meeting house was then sold to William Hillier Onslow, who took it back to his family estate in Surrey, where it's been since the 1890s.

Delegate representative Heeni Brown says the carvers of the era are some of the last who used traditional practices in their craft.

The new carvings that will replace those at the Hinemihi meeting house are being installed for those who have whakapapa in New Zealand to have still an important cultural space in the UK. 

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air