The Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Trust


The Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Trust was established in 2002 to support Runanga or Māori Regional Councils and their communities in the care, management and interpretation of their Māori Rock Art heritage. The main objectives of the Trust are to ensure the preservation and protection of Māori rock art for the benefit of Ngāi Tahu whānui, and for all New Zealander's, and to take a leading role in the conservation and management of rock art throughout Ngāi Tahu’s tribal boundaries.

Part of this work involves ensuring the physical protection of the art through the development of management plans and recording programmes. Another aspect involves education - raising people’s awareness and appreciation of the art so that it can be better protected into the future. The Trust manages the South Island Māori Rock Art Project (SIMRAP), a tribal initiative to survey for and record all of the rock art sites possible within the South Island. SIMRAP started in 1990 and is still operating today. Over that period we have recorded close to 600 rock art sites – from Murihiku (Fiordland) in the south, to Kaikoura in the north. As a result we hold the largest and most complete archive of Southern Māori rock art images in the world. The data collected through SIMRAP provides a firm foundation for all our work in rock art site management and conservation.

To learn more about the Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Trust click here

He taoka tuku iho, he oraka iwi
A treasure passed down, sustenance for the people

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  • "Fantastic and moving, with excellent guiding."

  • "Brilliant – stayed 2 hours, could have stayed 3!"

  • "A great tribute to the Maori art and culture of South Canterbury"

  • "Fabulous. Makes you really think about our local history."

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