Chief Executive, Ministry for Culture and Heritage - Taonga Tūturu found at Plimmerton
Māori Land Court (2012) 283 Aotea MB 166 (283 AOT 166)
4 May 2012
The Chief Executive of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage applied for a determination of competing claims to the actual or traditional ownership of a pounamu heitiki (a carved greenstone pendant) found on Plimmerton beach (section 12(1)(b) of the Protected Objects Act 1975). The beach lies within the traditional rohe (tribal region) of Ngāti Toa Rangatira. The Court held that although it was impossible to ascertain actual ownership of the object, traditional ownership lies with Ngāti Toa. The Court declined the finder’s request for ownership of the heitiki during his lifetime.