Technology has been an important part of the 28th Māori Battalion D Company history project, called Au e Ihu! Ngā Mōrehu Taua: Those that are left behind must endeavour to complete the work, allowing taonga to be displayed and protected for generations to come.
It has involved the digitisation and categorisation of a diverse range of taonga, including videoed interviews, handwritten and typed letters and other documents, and photographs of people, places and personal objects. These have been assembled together in a dynamic, searchable database that can be edited, and has made the taonga easily accessible for research and education. Here we present the examples and a discussion of the technology that facilitated this project.
Technology was also used to successfully collect information. The researchers were mobile and visited the homes of people interested in donating personal information. This made it easier for kaumātua and kuia to be involved, and importantly, meant the original taonga never left the care of the owners and was not put at risk through transport.
Associate Professor Huia Tomlins Jahnke (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Hine) who has been a researcher and research coordinator for the project since 1997; and Amber Logan (Ngāti Kahungunu), who has been involved with the project since 2009 and whose grandfather the late Maj. Rangi Logan served in the Māori Battalion and steered the development of the project from the outset, presented this seminar.