New UNESCO Memory of the World NZ listing

As discussed in an earlier post (20 June 2012), the UNESCO Memory of the World project was launched ten years ago. It aims to recognise & create awareness, provide access and ultimately help contribute towards the preservation of culturally significant documentary heritage from around the world. Cultural institutions are encouraged to nominate material for the internationally recognised register.

Two new registrations have been added to the UESCO Memory of the World New Zealand register for documentary heritage. This includes the Māori Land Court Minute Books and 'Patu!', a documentary recording the 1981 Springbok Tour of New Zealand. Both items tell the stories of two important periods of New Zealand history and are important sources of research for Treaty of Waitangi claimants, Māori, historians and a wide range of other users.

Ref: AWNS-19140416-47-1, Māori Land Court sitting at Lake Taupo, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The minute books (1862-1900) document the early years of the Native Land Courts (created in 1865) and record the hearings and evidence given to establish the Native Land Court titles across New Zealand, recording tribal history, whakapapa and evidence of iwi/hapu use and land occupation. The minute books are housed at Archives New Zealand and have been digitised and are available in a wide variety of formats for public use.

'Patu!' documents the events from the 1981 Springbok Tour to New Zealand, from the perspective of those who were against the tour. It was created by documentary maker Merata Mita (1942-2010). The 1983 theatrical length release of the documentary and supporting material is held by the New Zealand Film Archive and a version can be viewed online through the NZ Onscreen website. The documentary was recently screened at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year.

Find out more about this documentary and check out the Auckland Libraries' holdings of material by Merata Mita.


  1. Call for new inscriptions to the Memory of the World register (copy & paste the link into your browser):

  2. Maori Land Court Minutes are available as part of the heritage resources at Auckland Central Library. Researchers can now access printed copies of the minutes rather than having to look through microfilm.

    For more information watch coverage of this story on Te Karere (the story is at 15:57 and goes to 18:23), please copy & paste this link into your browser:


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