Māori Development Minister, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says Te Puia - The New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua is a step closer to iwi ownership.
"This is a significant step in the journey towards iwi ownership. The journey began ten years ago between the Crown and Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi and Ngāti Wahiao. Te Puia is currently a body corporate owned by the Crown.
"I acknowledge the efforts of the current Board, management and staff of Te Puia for their passion, hard work and commitment to make Te Puia the valuable asset it is today. This was always the vision and aspiration of Maori politician, Sir Apirana Ngata, who established the first Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in 1926.
"Te Puia has helped change the way Maori arts and crafts are viewed and this has had far-reaching implications for our tourism and trading markets. It has also had an impact on the way Aotearoa is seen internationally," said Nanaia Mahuta.
The Minister says Te Puia has been at the heart of promoting our culture and identity on the international stage.
"Our identity as a nation is now inextricably linked with our cultural traditions," said Nanaia Mahuta.
The New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Vesting Bill will be reported back to the House on May 2019.
(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)