After disappearing from Koutu in the Bay of Islands over 200 years ago, the Te Pahi medal was returned to Aotearoa after it showed up in a Sotheby’s Sydney auction in 2014.
This short-form documentary, tells the story of the return of the Te Pahi medal to Aotearoa, the re-unification of the medal with the descendants of Te Pahi, and their collaboration with Auckland Museum and Te Papa to bring the medal home.
The medal, a gift by New South Wales Governor, Philip Gidley King is tangible evidence of the strong trading relationship built between Governor King, on behalf of the British Crown, and rangatira, Te Pahi.
Perceived as exotic and handsome by those living on Australian shores, Te Pahi was bestowed this official state gift to acknowledge his part in forging close trans-Tasman relationships.
Sitting at just under 4 inches, it is a small medal with a big story to tell – one of mutual respect and finding inspiration and opportunity in another’s culture.
Currently this taonga resides at Auckland Museum, having recently been displayed at Te Papa. The medal is part of a co-guardianship agreement between Auckland Museum, Te Papa and Te Pahi descendants from Ngāti Rua and Ngāti Torehina.
Directed by Te Pahi direct descendent Komako Silver, Te Pahi. Commissioned by Te Papa and Auckland Museum.
Nā reira ka nui te mihi maioha ki ngā iwi o Te Pahi, tō koutou aroha ki tō Karani. Tō mahi tahi i a matou o Tamaki Paenga Hira me Te Papa Tongarewa. Tēnā koutou katoa.
Translation: Therefore, our sincerest acknowledgement to the people of Te Pahi, the depth of love for your grandfather and your partnership with Auckland Museum and Te Papa.