Why not spend a fraction of the $50 million to support the Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Trust.
We are the kaitiaki of this most precious taonga. We must support the efforts to protect and empower the local runaka and the Trust so that we have no more loss - loss that can never come back.
What could be done? We know that over 500 rock art sites have been recorded by SIMRAP, only a small fraction of these are being actively protected and managed. That is discraceful!
Immediately all recorded sites should be bought into a management plan. The plan could include employment opportunities for young Ngai Tahu. Ecocultural tourism and culturally sensitive tours for guests/tourists run by Ngai Tahu for Ngai Tahu. Managed and run at the runaka level.
Many iwi members have never seen or been close to their sacred taonga, left for them by their ancestors. They would be honoured to be allowed to. All parties win, the heroes who keep the home fires burning and those coming back, humbly, heroes too, to learn and reconnect with their rightful histories.
This Trust still has to seek sponsorship - whats wrong with sponsoring our own?
Seriously, what possible reason could there be for this neglect.
If we have to buy all the land they are on, who cares, make them offers they can't refuse = that's what $50 million is for.
The key is speed. Each day more and more slips away. Push this up the agenda. Make it a priority. Get off your hands and stop thinking like pakehas - the money isn't the issue!