Monday, August 20, 2007

Scots of New Zealand Exhibition

According to a recent article on TV3 News, "Te Papa launches Scottish Kiwis exhibition," around fifty per cent of New Zealanders can claim some Scottish ancestry, so Te Papa is expecting lots of visitors to their latest exhibition. The Scots in New Zealand exhibition opened Saturday. The Scottish were one of the biggest immigrant streams to New Zealand and with a recent flurry of interest among descendents and academics, Te Papa has launched a two and a half year exhibition on the Scots. Over the next few months, the exhibition will be brought to life with Scottish games, dancing and of course the pipes.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

LDS Church in New Zealand makes appeal on proposed legislation

According to an article on Scoop Independent News, "LDS Champion access to Ancestry," the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand warns the proposed public records legislation, BDM amendment, could deliver unplanned negative consequences.

In a submission to the Select Committee, on the proposed Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Amendments Bill, Elder Spencer J Condie, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New Zealand Area warned politicians that the amendment could place a barrier to efforts to strengthen family bonds.

According to Elder Condie tracing family ancestry is an important cultural and spiritual experience for many New Zealanders. “The concept of forming links between the generations – what the Maori call ‘whakapapa’ is fundamental in Christian theology (Hebrews 11.40),” he said. “That’s why we have invested to support genealogical research.”

The Church has established over 50 Family History Centres across New Zealand as well as joint operations with the Auckland Library, the National Library and the Panmure Genealogical Society. These centres are staffed by both LDS and non LDS volunteer consultants who assist patrons to access the millions of names available through microfilm, CD Roms and Internet sources. Access to these resources is provided free of charge.

In its submission to the select committee the Church, acknowledges the intentions of the sponsors of the bill, but warns that unintentional negative consequences could result from its passing. The submission argues that the bill could create a barrier to strengthening family bonds or even make bonafide genealogical organisations at risk of criminal prosecution.

The article continues with the complete text of Elder Condie's statement to the Select Committee.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Project to photograph archive of New Zealand war-dead

An article in gisborneherald.co.nz, "Support for war graves archive," announces a project to create a photographic archive of the graves and primary memorials of New Zealand’s war-dead has Wairoa District Council backing. The New Zealand War Graves Trust is planning the archive, reportedly the first of its kind. Forecast to take three years, the project will cover the period from the Boer War in South Africa to peacekeeping in East Timor. The trust intends to set up a website with free access to the archive and virtual tours of relevant cemeteries. The Auckland War Memorial Museum has agreed to accept the archive and host the finished website. The museum, which has a national focus on military history, hosts the "Cenotaph" database of New Zealand’s service personnel. The trust says the archive will be a world first.

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