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Death of Moriori trees a loss

The death of trees carved by Moriori in the Chatham Islands is being called a national conservation crisis.

An article on the subject is about to be published in the next issue of Archaeology in New Zealand.

Otago University archaeologist Dr Ian Barber visited in February and was shocked 10% of the trees had died since last year. He says the trees are a vital part of Moriori heritage and cultural revival.

Dr Barber says it would be a loss on all sorts of levels, from an archaeological perspective, from cultural heritage perspectives and a broader conservation perspective.



Guest Peter on 8/04/2011 11:00am

Perhaps a selection of these trees could be felled before they die and placed in protective storage in say a local museum. It’s not rocket science – why is there no foresight in this matter and an effort by the local authority to preserve their heritage? My next query is “do the local authorities care enough to do something about it?”

Zelda Wynn on 8/04/2011 4:12am

Whilst it is a shame that some trees have died, I think we should remember that nothing lasts forever. Perhaps the carvings damaged the trees, thus shortening their life.
Dr Ian Barber should not be shocked at this and continue to enjoy his archeology.

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