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NEWS RELEASE August 29, 2000

The Waitangi Tribunal has launched a major history project, to be conducted by David Young and Dr. Barry Rigby, as part of recognizing the Tribunal’s 25th Anniversary in October 2000.

The aim is to produce a set of taped interviews that can be used to make subsequent published history a living history.

This oral history project is therefore a component of a larger history project that will result in a major publication in late 2001.

The human experiences of members, claimants, counsel and staff are key to giving the Waitangi Tribunal history its essential bicultural dimension.

The project was awarded a grant of $12,000 from the Sesquicentennial Gift Trust for Awards in Oral History, and is one of the 19 Awards in Oral History made this year. The Trust is administered by the History Group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

The Oral History Awards came about in 1990 as the result of a $1 million gift from the people of Australia to the people of New Zealand, to be used to record the oral history of Aotearoa New Zealand and its close connections with the South Pacific. The money was invested and each year since 1991 the interest has been given out in grants. To date, 188 projects have received assistance and many hundreds of hours of interviews have been recorded.

The original recordings of the Waitangi Tribunal interviews will be deposited at the Oral History Centre of the Alexander Turnbull Library, where they will be available for use subject to any restrictions placed on them by the person interviewed or the interviewer.

‘Oral history is a unique way of recording unwritten history. This project will allow us to hear the human dimension of the Waitangi Tribunal, and thus add to our understanding of recent history in this country,’ says Chief Historian, Jock Phillips.

David Young can be contacted on (04) 473 5006 and Dr. Barry Rigby on (04) 914 3032.

Victoria Brown Executive Assistant Waitangi Tribunal

DDI: (04) 914 3049 Fax: (04) 914 3001 Cell: 025 249 0841

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