Topic: Arts

Top Māori artists to showcase at Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival

By Jessica Tyson
  • Auckland
Fashion designer Shona Tawhiao is one of the 41 artists and designers showcasing this weekend.

People visiting the Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival this weekend are in for a treat, following an announcement today that more than 40 top Māori artists and designers will be exhibiting at the event.

A total of 41 artists will be showcasing at the festival at the Auckland Viaduct including high profile Māori activist Tame Iti, whose paintings are often influenced by his beliefs.

Fashion designer Shona Tawhiao, who has recently showcased in Paris, New York and London, is included in the line-up, alongside Rotorua designers Adrienne Whitewood and Kharl Wirepa.

Actor and carver, Lawrence Makoare, known for his recent role as the warrior in The Deadlands and other roles in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, will also showcase.

Recent work by Tame Iti includes a mural representing for all to see as they pass through the town Tāneatua, said to be the gateway to Te Urewera.

Other major contemporary artists will be exhibiting everything from sculpture, weaving, to multi-media and digital arts.  

Organisers say the festival zone will be divided into three locations.

Auckland Art Gallery is presenting works by Charlotte Graham and Emily Karaka, a digital exhibition, and Charlotte Graham doing talks and free printmaking workshops.

Next door, Auckland Council’s Activate Auckland team has curated the Toi Māori group exhibition of contemporary artists working in a range of different media, artist korero sessions, poi-making workshops, artist demonstrations, story-telling, and acoustic musical performances.

The third zone will feature the work of Māori digital content companies, including the new Pipi Mā web cartoon series, and digital apps and games which help players learn basic te reo or Māori history.

ATEED General Manager Destination Steve Armitage says the wider festival team were keen to support the Māori creative sector.

“It’s been great for our festival production team to work with the Mana Whenua Steering Group, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Council’s Activate Auckland team and artists across a wide range of disciplines to present festival-goers with a varied, exciting and interactive showcase of Māori creative arts.”

The festival will run from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 January.

Adrienne Whitewood recently showcased her newest Tā collection at NZ Fashion Week 2017. Source: Adrienne Whitewood, Facebook

Featured artists are:


Natasha Keating

Te Marunui Hotene

Tame Iti

Hemi Kiwikiwi

Jimmy Kouratoras

Emily Karaka

Selwyn Vercoe

Regan Balzer

Enuake Sirikige

Andy Turner (and sculpture)

Charlotte Graham (and installation)

Oil pastels

Raukura Turei


Nigel Scanlon

Natasha Smyser

Lawrence Makoare

Natanahira Pora

Bob Tekahiwi How

Tom Mokoare

Tai Mueli

Karam Mueli

William Theodore


Numangatini Mackenzie

Fashion designers

Rosanna Raymond (and taonga)

Jeanine Clarkin

Shona Tawhiao

Maehe  Ranginui (and furniture)

Adrienne Whitewood

Pia Boutique

Kharl Wirepa

Dmonic Intent


Ernesto Ovalle

Ngahina Hohaia


Ruth Woodbury

Beronia Scott

Tanya White

Te Atiwei Ririnui


Fred Harrison  

Mei Hill


Natalie Couch (and printmaking)

Bethany Edmonds

Tracey Tawhiao