On Waitangi Day, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga will be opening the doors to its staffed properties free of charge.
The following are places that are also recognised as Tohu Whenua - landmarks that tell our stories.
Pompallier Mission, Russell (free guided tours 11am and 2pm)
Kemp House & Stone Store, Kerikeri (free guided tours 11am and 2pm)
Te Waimate Mission, near Kerikeri (free guided tours 11am and 2pm)
Clendon House in Rawene and Māngungu Mission on the Hokianga Harbour will be open 10am to 4pm for general visitation
Totara Estate, Oamaru
Hayes Engineering Works, Oturehua
The country’s lead heritage organisation cares for these properties on behalf of all New Zealanders, and the free entry is its way to help commemorate and reflect on our national day. This year’s main theme will be ‘the building of a nation’.
“This theme relates to our built heritage as representative of what preceded the 1840 signing and what dated it,” says Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Chief Executive Andrew Coleman.
“They are physical reminders, or touchstones, of Māori and Pākehāinteraction, of who we are, where we have come from and where we will collectively go as New Zealanders.
“Our properties tell a small part of a wider story of the nation. They are open free of charge to enjoy, learn from and appreciate a snapshot of our history.
“The objective of the open day is to promote the significance of Heritage New Zealand places that contribute to the story of early Māori and Pākehāinteraction and the progression to the multicultural society we are today in a family, fun and inclusive way,” says Andrew.
The open day is part of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga’s commitment to honouring the vision for Māori heritage as contained in the Māori Heritage Council’s document Tapuwae.
“Tapuwae means ‘sacred footprint’. The purpose of the document, and the properties opening, is to further express the idea that we can look back to see where we have been as we move forward, taking more steps,” says Andrew.
“It’s a day of commemoration and reflection. We hope all New Zealanders take the opportunity to visit one or more of these special places.”