Te Hā 1769 Sestercentennial Trust is shifting up a gear with funding secured to manage commemorative events around the 250th anniversary of first meetings between Maori and those on board the Endeavour.
Chair Richard Brooking says Te Hā has moved into a new phase since the appointment of Dame Jenny Shipley as chair of the National Coordinating Committee and funds being released to the four landing site trusts – Tairāwhiti, Mercury Bay, Bay of Islands and Queen Charlotte Sound – to plan and manage commemorative activities.
“We continue to work closely with the community and Government to develop legacy and commemorative events. We’re currently preparing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage as to our roles and responsibilities in this.
“We are also preparing a business case to release money allocated in the district’s Regional Action Plan to benefit Tairāwhiti by sharing our stories to attract talent, capital and visitors. Te Hā, as lead organisation, will work with iwi, Activate Tairāwhiti, Gisborne District Council, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, MBIE and the Voyaging Trust to situate Tairāwhiti as the host of the core 2019 events and help deliver a series of events of international standard. If successful, the business case will enable more funding to come to the region,” Mr Brooking said.
“With little more than two years to go before the national commemorations start here in October 2019, we now have the funding to employ a fulltime general manager to keep us moving forward into this exciting new phase. This job, which was previously part-time, is advertised in the Gisborne Herald this week. We will be looking to employ other staff including event managers for local and national commemorative events.
“We thank current general manager Nicky Solomon, who finishes at the end of the month, for her commitment and energy beyond the call of duty in getting Te Hā to where it stands today. Her departure, into a new permanent role with a local business, creates an opportunity for someone with complex skills to help us reach our Dual Heritage Shared Future aspirations in the lead-up to 2019 and beyond.”
Mr Brooking said Te Hā had achieved a raft of successes since its inception in 2013. These included
supporting iwi on their plans and aspirations leading up to and beyond 2019; changing the Government’s Euro-centric language around commemorations to being inclusive; promoting Dual Heritage Shared Future concepts; helping ensure Gisborne-based historical interpretations infrastructure will be in place before October 2019; initiating talks to get voyaging vessels, navies, the Endeavour replica and Tall Ships here for 2019; helping to get landing site first encounter stories into a national education strategy; and setting up an annual October Art Award and arts festival.