The official opening of the Waitangi Museum, Te Kōngahu, has taken place today. Taonga have been restored, each with its own special story and link to Te Tiriiti o Waitangi. This morning, Te Kāea attended the traditional pre-dawn ceremony.
It took two years to build the whare, Te Kōngahu, for the purpose of protecting these restored treasures that are more than two centuries old. Some taonga were found in boatsheds, private homes and backyards.
Tukaki Waititi (Ngāti Hine, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) says, "We draw from the conclusions of the past to help us understand what is now before our eyes."
"These treasures hold the life force and spirit of our ancestors and irrespective of what we think of the ancestors of the past, it is they who laid the pathway for us here today," says Waititi.
Grants and fundraising by the Waitangi National Trust have brought this history to life again, including a self-portrait carving of the great chief Hongi Hika's face, carved by the man himself in 1814.
Te Kōngahu at the Treaty Grounds will be open all year round, fulfilling the prophecy, "The time will come when the Treaty will speak and the world will know".