Monday, May 24, 2010

Administering Maori Land

When I travelled around New Zealand last year updating Frommers New Zealand 6th Edition, I spent a couple of hours driving and walking around the small eastern Bay of Plenty town, Opotiki, which I always see as the start of one of my favourite driving adventures - the magnificent East Cape road. The town may be small but it is richly decorated with traditional and contempoary Maori art - everything from colourful street murals to school gateways embellished with amazing traditional carvings, modern Maori carvings and Maori-owned buildings like this one - home to Te Whakatohea Maori Trust Board.
The Trust was established in 1952 and now administers the properties of Te Whakatohea iwi (tribe) - buildings and farms - and also provides school and health services and training across a wide range of occupations and trades.

As I roamed the streets, I also came upon this Maori Arts Gallery - closed unfortunately, and a little hard to tell in fact, if it was even currently operating - also established by Te Whakatohea.

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