Historic photos should never have left New Zealand, Whina Cooper's daughter says

By Peter de Graaf for RNZ

Dame Whina Cooper's daughter says a treasure trove of historic photos - including images of her late mother - should never have left Aotearoa.

The photos are part of the Fairfax newspaper archive, which was shipped to America as part of an ill-fated digitisation project and almost ended up in landfill after the US company went under.

Hinerangi Cooper-Puru, of Panguru in Northland, welcomed news the images had been saved and part of the collection was about to return home.

However, she was concerned historically significant photos of Māori were still being sent overseas without permission from iwi or the subject's families.

"We want it stopped. This must not happen again," she said.

"They were going to dump the pictures they were hoping to maybe sell, which is not good. I'm concerned that they ever left our country, Aotearoa."

Cooper-Puru said she was looking forward to seeing the photos of her mother once they return to New Zealand.