During the Ngāi Tahu Claim Trevor Howse worked tirelessly for his people.
Trevor played a significant role for the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board, helping organise and drive the Claim behind the scenes. He collated a vast amount of the information presented to the Waitangi Tribunal, managed the land bank process between Ngāi Tahu and the Crown, and was a member of the Ngāi Tahu ‘A-Team’ that spearheaded the negotiation process.
Today his knowledge and expertise is once again helping drive another important tribal initiative in the Ngāi Tahu Cultural Mapping project.
“The history of Te Waipounamu is in the footprints our tīpuna left behind; and today the best evidence of these footprints are the names they gave to the places they lived, hunted and visited as they moved about the land,” says Trevor.
“So we go back to the land, the whenua, and we put the names in place because that’s where the history is. Academia has given us one part of history – we have a responsibility to take that other piece and put it together.”
“It is what I call the real story of Te Waipounamu and it takes in everything. It is not selective, it is encompassing and brings everything together. It takes you through all those questions you’ve been asking that brings the whole of the island into play. We do not shut doors anywhere – we are in fact opening doors. It’s exciting work,” he says.
“I am grateful to be part of the process. If we are going to remain a people we can’t have just a few carrying the information.”