Our Role As Maori Rock Art Guardians


Ngāi Tahu Whānui is the most widespread tribe of Te Waipounamu, the South Island of New Zealand. Our whakapapa (genealogy) binds us to this land, and to our ancestors who discovered, explored and settled it.  We are an amalgamation of Waitaha, the first people to settle here about 700 years ago, and Ngāti Mamoe and Ngāi Tahu who migrated later from Te Ika o Maui (the North Island). 

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Māori rock art is a cherished part of our tribal identity and a unique feature of the Aoraki region. It is a taoka (treasure) to be nurtured for the generations to come. As the descendants of the people who created the art we have a role as kaitiaki (or guardians) of these treasured sites and are responsible for their care.
Te Ana is a tribal initiative designed to protect our precious rock art heritage – both by raising awareness of these incredible treasures, and by generating funds for their care. Te Ana is a non-profit organization and 100% of the revenue generated from our Centre and Tours is used for the protection and management of Māori rock art sites. By visiting Te Ana you are helping us to protect these fragile treasures for centuries to come!

Titia ki te uma kā taoka o nehe
Pin to your heart the treasures passed down

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Visitors Say

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

  • "A fantastic peak into our country’s proud and rich history! Kapai!"

  • "Great New Zealand history to be proud of "

  • "Well done Te Ana – what a fabulous resource, especially for schools"

  • "What an amazing place – a treasure for South Canterbury"

  • "Awesome – great integration of Maori culture and history with the land"

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

  • "Fantastic! A real asset to Timaru"

  • "Fantastic and moving, with excellent guiding."

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

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