Ngāi Tahu – Cultural Mapping Project


Jane Davis

Jane Davis, 2013. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Collection, Ngāi Tahu Archive, 2017-0172

Aunty Jane is renowned for her life-long commitment to Ngāi Tahu, tītī and conservation. A descendant of the early unions between whalers and sealers who married Ngāi Tahu women on Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) she was brought up in Riverton where she would become a staunch and loyal advocate of Te Kerēme (the Ngāi Tahu Claim).

Muttonbirding has been a constant in Jane’s life. Taken as a baby by her mother to Putauhinu Island, she continues to go there today with her children and grandchildren. It was through mutton birding that she met her husband, the late Bill Davis. Together they were heavily involved in participating and advocating for the local Ngāi Tahu communities of Aparima (Riverton) and Ōraka (Colac Bay).

Aunty Jane was a key witness who presented evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal advocating for the successful return of the Crown tītī islands to Ngāi Tahu. She was also appointed to the Ngaitahu Maori Trust Board overseeing negotiations with the Crown until the establishment of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Since the Ngāi Tahu Settlement Aunty Jane has continued to support Ngāi Tahu through being a member of both the Ngāi Tahu Fund and Te Pae Kōrako (the Ngāi Tahu Archive Advisory Committee).

Read full biography