Taonga

From Academic Kids

Taonga is the Maori word for a treasured thing, whether tangible or intangible. Tangible examples are all sorts of heirlooms and artefacts, land and fisheries. Intangible examples include language, radio frequencies and riparian rights.

The Maori names of many New Zealand museums contain the term Whare taonga - literally "treasure house".

The word taonga has constitutional significance in New Zealand, as article two of the Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed that the Maori signatories would retain the possession and enjoyment of their taonga under British rule. This has created an incentive for such things as radio frequencies, which were unknown at the time of the treaty, to be classified as taonga so that they may be claimed under this provision of the treaty.

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