After the passing of a family member, the Bell family discovered a selection of late 19th century photographs tucked away in a closet. Taken by a man named WT Pickering, the photos documented local Māori around the Whanganui River area, and were subsequently of incredible cultural and financial value. The owners of the photographs opted to sell them at auction. Local iwi on the other hand, felt it important that their whakapapa returned home. Winner of an Aotearoa TV Award, this documentary tells the story of finding compromise when dealing with precious taonga.
I realised how important it was to people. We heard of people who were thinking of mortgaging their house in order to bring their ancestors home, so we were very committed to trying to secure the collection and have it under iwi management and control.– Sharon Dell, Former Director of the Whanganui Regional Museum