Focus on videos as Maori gallery’s evolution continues apace

The museum continues to be busy with visitors, theatre events and exhibition changes. Sometimes we develop new exhibitions and do a complete change-out of a gallery and other times things are more of a curated evolution. Such is the case with Tenei Tonu, our Maori gallery, with a series of new objects and content being added in.

We’re currently putting finishing touches on two videos that will be installed later this month. One is a video welcoming visitors into the gallery, with wero, karanga and waiata. This video provides both an experience and insight into these rituals of encounter. The second video features Rose Mohi, looking at her personal journey to research and relocate the pou of the wharenui ‘Heretaunga Tuatoru’. This wharenui was commissioned by Rose’s tupuna Karaitiana Takamoana, Member of House of Representatives, Eastern Maori. Takamoana employed Ngati Porou master carver Hoani Taahu of Ngati Uepohatu to work on carvings to adorn this wharenui at Pakowhai Pa in Hastings.

One of the sixty-four Heretaunga Tuatoru pou is on display in Tenei Tonu – the only one of these pou remaining on public display within Hawke’s Bay. Distinguished scholar Roger Neich described Heretaunga Tuatoru as “the most scattered meeting house in the world.” In this video Rose explains the history of the wharenui and her journey to reconnect these carvings, which has taken her around the world.

More film will be soon be shown at MTG with Screenies – an independently run children’s film festival run over a three-day period during the school holidays (19-21 April). The festival’s aim is “to enrich children’s experience of media by showing diverse stories from around the world and New Zealand”. As part of the festival Screenies will show a re-digitised “Hairy Maclary 10 Favourite Stories” for younger viewers, first shown in 1983. There will be a special Thunderbirds presentation, a feature film “Not Without Us”, and a selection of the best short films available internationally. More information about this will be available on our website next week.

Also in the Century Theatre we’re delighted to be hosting Mike King’s upcoming I Am Hope Tour. Mike is on a campaign to address and raise awareness about youth suicide, specifically wanting to help people who have suffered, or are suffering, from bullying, depression, low self-worth or anxiety. And further, to provide the knowledge and tools for their friends and family to know how best to support people going through this. There’s been such a huge response to this event that it’s already fully booked. It’s great to know there is interest and action around this subject and hopefully Mike might return so more people can participate in this discussion. Find out more about Mike’s story on

Rose_Sample of balck with insert carving Still002

Michelle Lee – Curator, Maori

Published in the Hawke’s Bay Today, 10th March 2018


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