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Exhibition to highlight Motueka's first settlers

December 2nd, 2016

The fascinating stories of Ngati Rarua and Te Atiawa and their relationship with Motueka will feature in a new exhibition opening at the Motueka District Museum on Sunday.

The exhibition, titled "Mai i Hawaiki - Te Ahi Ko Roa", tells the story of the great migrations these two tribes made, travelling with related and allied tribes down the west coast of the North Island and to the top of the South Island.

Using imagery and treasured artefacts, it speaks of significant people, places and stories that have shaped the lives of Motueka's two mana whenua tribes.

From early trade with whalers and traders, through the loss of land and livelihood due to the New Zealand Company and Crown acquisitions, to the revitalisation of today, Mai i Hawaiki - Te Ahi Ko Roa tells the story of courage, resilience and fortitude of those who kept the home fires burning.

Many Motueka people have little knowledge of this slice of the town and area's history, and the changes that have taken place since European settlers arrived.

Developed in association with Nelson Provincial Museum as part of their outreach and support of affiliated museums, this will be the Motueka Museum's featured exhibition over the summer.

"This is an exciting opportunity to explore the rich histories of the region with which many locals are unfamiliar," says Lucinda Blackley-Jimson, CEO of Nelson Provincial Museum.

"We have been honoured to work closely with Ngati Rarua and Te Atiawa, who have been so generous with their knowledge, taonga and histories. We look forward to working with them and the other mana whenua iwi to share more stories in the future."

The exhibition will be formally opened in a dawn ceremony at the Museum, starting at 4.30am on Sunday, December 4th. It will run until June 30th.

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