New Zealand High Commissioner HE Tiffany Babington handed over a second consignment of donated materials from Auckland War Memorial Museum to Hon Siosifa ‘Alematea Vaha’i for the Tonga Royal Archives today.
In May 2016, Auckland Museum launched the Pacific Collection Access Project (PCAP) to improve knowledge and understanding of the Museum’s Pacific collection; and undertake cataloguing; conservation and storage improvements to the collection including ensuring all taonga are available online.
PCAF has collections from: Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawai’i, Kiribati, Niue, Pitcairn, Rapa Nui, Samoa, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Tonga.
In rehousing and repacking of taonga, the Museum had built up a supply of storage material it no longer required but which are still in good condition. These materials are often expensive for institutions, especially in the Pacific, to purchase.
The Museum therefore created an ‘Upcycling/Recycling’ programme to donate quality materials to other institutions both in Aotearoa and across the Pacific including Tonga.
The first consignment was delivered last year to the Government of Tonga and received by Hon Semisi Sika (acting Prime Minister at the time) and put to good use by organisations such as Ancient Tonga as well as the Royal Archives.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Museum’s ‘Upcycling/Recycling’ came to an end in June so it was fortunate this second consignment of materials could be delivered.
The Royal Archives represents a rich and precious repository of Tonga’s history and culture.
HE Tiffany Babington accompanied their Majesties when they visited Archives New Zealand during their official visit last March. As a result we have been developing linkages between our respective Archives and the Pacific Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (PARBICA).
New Zealand is committed to working with Tonga to assist and preserve Tonga’s taonga for future generations.
Hon Siosifa ‘Alamatea Vaha’i thanked Auckland War Memorial Museum for its donation.