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Both Noel and Joan complained about the lack of access to the information in a Radio Pacific interview, Friday, 21st of June 1996 (midday - 2pm). Sandra Lee, as well as the Minister in charge of Archives, The Hon. Well, from no disclosures earlier on (or outright denials that there ever was an embargo), it seems we were correct all along and, yes there definitely was some kind of access denial imposed by Pahinui Marae or Matahina Marae.Others have joined the fray, nudging and cajoling the authorities into proffering explanations, after all...what's so threatening about archaeological finds that they need to be dubbed "restricted"... Despite appeasing, gloss over and confusing "double talk" in there, which attempts to minimize the gravity of the situation, we're getting closer to something that almost smacks of a disclosure. Thank you also Sandra and Marian for almost telling us something..you, we're mostly interested in the past tense aspect rather than how wonderfully accessible everything might appear to be in the present tense. Phillida Bunkle's response, which acknowledges that there was a restriction placed upon accessing Waipoua Forest archaeological information, formally suspended in 1996.To my knowledge, the restrictions would have remained in place until 2063 were the legalities not challenged, under law, through an incentive instigated by Gary Cook.But what % of the massive amount of documentation, relating to years of archaeological endeavour, was to be restricted until 2063?At a cursory count there are 152 archaeological categories covered by A617, ranging from A617/1a (Stage II - Book 1, pages 1 to 100)... There appears to be another category under the Archive reference BBEE A1234/1a to BBEE A1234/1m (13 items), which was similarly restricted.I know of several researchers, including Noel Hilliam, Curator of the Dargaville Maritime Museum and Joan Leaf, Hokianga based Historian, who had no success in accessing the Waipoua Forest Archaeological report prior to Gary Cook's legal intervention. Burton consulted with the Minister of Conservation, The Hon.The printed line, which would allow bona fide research workers access to the information has been crossed out and overwritten with, 'restricted until 2063'.
Archaeologists were employed by the New Zealand taxpayer to provide a service in behalf of the public.
This author and others, simply wish to inform the public that, in New Zealand, archaeological information, artefacts and skeletal evidence can be deemed secret, with knowledge deliberately withheld in the perceived interests of government policy.