Te Puna Foundation launched

1 December 2016: Young New Zealanders first to benefit from Te Puna Foundation launch

The new charity has been established to fund new programmes to unlock the value of knowledge held in the National Library and provide greater access to ‘the memory of the nation’. Its inaugural fundraising campaign will help school students across the country experience He Tohu, an exciting new exhibition of New Zealand’s iconic constitutional documents from Archives NZ, opening in 2017.

At the launch, Prime Minister John Key announced that the Government would, for the next two years, match every dollar the Foundation raises up to $2 million. This will go a long way towards the aspiration of Te Puna Foundation, to allow every student to experience He Tohu at least once during their school life, either in person or virtually through a digital involvement.

Bill Macnaught, Chair of Te Puna Foundation welcomed the announcement: “I’m thrilled with this exciting start for Te Puna Foundation. The National Library of New Zealand is a world-leading, contemporary library, with award-winning teams and outstanding collections. Te Puna Foundation will fund new programmes to provide greater access for more New Zealanders. I’m delighted our first campaign will enable more school students to visit He Tohu at the National Library in Wellington, or to engage with it digitally.”

One of Te Puna Foundation’s first donors, David Zwartz, was among the partners, donors, and supporters attending last night’s launch. Mr Zwartz is funding a scholarship for librarians across New Zealand to make a study visit to the National Library in Wellington. The scholarship is in memory of his late wife Helen, who worked at the National Library as a librarian for many years.

“We are grateful for the support of all those who contribute to Te Puna Foundation,” said Bill Macnaught. “The success of Te Puna Foundation will come from developing partnerships with businesses, the community and of course Government, who have been supporting the National Library for over 50 years now. I’m excited by the possibilities of what we can achieve together.”

To donate or to find out more, go to tepunafoundation.org.nz.


Jenny Riches, Department of Internal Affairs, media@dia.govt.nz

Notes to editors

About Te Puna Foundation

The National Library has established Te Puna Foundation as a registered charitable trust. It has been created to build on the great work the National Library does. Its work will be aligned with the National Library’s vision for the future and will make it even more successful. The Foundation will enable the National Library to have a greater impact and increased reach across New Zealand.

About the National Library

The National Library of New Zealand is here to help New Zealanders access and use the collective knowledge of the nation. The Library’s role is to collect, connect, and co-create knowledge to power New Zealand. This means that New Zealand's documentary taonga in words, sounds and pictures are collected, protected and accessible, New Zealanders can easily access national and international resources through knowledge networks and that through working together New Zealanders can turn knowledge into value.

About He Tohu

He Tohu is an exhibition of three of the founding documents of New Zealand: 1835 He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni – Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand, the 1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi – Treaty of Waitangi, and 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition – Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine. The exhibition is presented in the National Library in partnership with Archives New Zealand. While housed at the National Library, the documents remain under the guardianship of the Chief Archivist.