Wharehou 16-9


An exhibition of new works by students and staff from Toihoukura School of Māori Visual Art and Design

The Māoriland gallery Toi Matarau is to host the second of its 2020 Matariki exhibitions with new works from students of the highly respected Gisborne based art school Toihoukura.

The Gallery and online exhibition called WHAREHOU is showcasing emerging Māori artists and supporting the broader context of contemporary Māori art education and Māori art practice.

Up to 20 students and staff of Toihoukura will travel to Ōtaki to present the stories behind their new works created during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The kaitiaki of Toi Matarau, Maakarita Paku says WHAREHOU is a collection of 50 mixed medium artworks by 35 Toihoukura artists and will be Toihoukura’s first invitational exhibition in Ōtaki.

“It is an exciting opportunity to connect East Coast artists to artists here on our West Coast. We are honoured to be hosting Toihoukura at Toi Matarau.”

The Toihoukura students are from Certificate Year 1, Degree Years 1-3, Honours and Masters programs. Current tutors are Steve Gibbs, Erena Koopu, Makarini Solomon, Ayson Lewis, Melanie Baldwin, Ngaire Tuhua and Denise Te Hau.  Featured in Wharehou is also Tā Derek Arana Te Ahi Lardelli KNZM who is widely respected as a tāmoko artist,  painter, carver, kapa haka performer, composer, researcher and kaikōrero.


Tā Derek Lardelli, a noted Tā Moko artist, printmaker and sculptor, joined the programme as a senior tutor in 1992.  Sadly, Ivan died that same year, and his position was filled by renowned kowhaiwhai artist, Sandy Adsett.  Painter, Steve Gibbs, was appointed in 1994.  Together this teaching team developed a dynamic foundation programme, followed by an Advanced Diploma and, in January 2007, a Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts was accredited and implemented.

While the school built its kaupapa from the strong arts traditions of Te Tairawhiti, the students throughout Toihoukura’s history have been an amalgamation of iwi from across the country.  Derek Lardelli and Steve Gibbs remained at the heart of the teaching team when in 2002 Sandy Adsett moved to Hastings to work within his own tribal area of Ngāti Kahungunu.

Christina (Tina) Hurihia Wirihana, the most recently appointed tutor, is a specialist in fibre and weaving, who has had an involvement with Toihoukura over many years.  Tina spent 17 years at Waiariki Polytechnic in the Visual Art and Design school.  Her last position was with the art faculty at Te Wānanga o Awanuiarangi in Whakatane, which spanned a 7-year period. She provides a high calibre of lecturing across all programmes introducing, developing and assisting with appropriate fibre related practices including sustainability of natural materials.

Toihoukura provides a nurturing environment based on manaakitanga (care and protection), and whanaungatanga (family foundation) within which the students develop their individual artistic practice.


The focus of Toihoukura is to ensure the continuing development of art forms that are specifically Māori.  This is promoted through the development of, and participation in an arts ‘wānanga’ learning environment that encourages the personal and professional development of every student.

The kaupapa of the programmes delivered within the school have been developed in direct response to the continuing need to strengthen Māori Art within a contemporary Māori context.

Cultural concepts and technical knowledge acquired through practical work and experience is analysed through wānanga learning.  Students are empowered to develop their own direction, vision and independence with regard to cultural expectations and conditions.

On-going exploration of traditional elements in Māori art and design ensures that students will develop a strong sense of imagery related to their own ancestral whakapapa (genealogy).

  • Ayson Lewis

    Ngāti Ruapani, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou


    Medium: Relief mixed media Dimensions: 450mm x 1.2m x 150mm

    Materials: NZ native, Feathers, twine, copper nails, paint on board, shellack, deer antler

    Kaupapa: A tribute to our many kaitiaki moana and the connections through whakapapa, whenua and wairua.

    The Whai/stingray is sometimes regarded as a good omen. They remind us that they are the lords of their environment and we are merely manuhiri. It is our responsibility to support their wellbeing and preservation. Through colonisation, we have become disconnected and desecrate their space without conscience. My hope is that we can reinvigorate our sense of duty and responsibility to protect their existence and environment.

    See more


  • Brooklyn Te Kani Ruha

    Ngāti Porou, Tuwhakairiora

    Brooklyn Te Kani Ruha of Tuwhakairiora and Te Whānau ā Apanui is a drawer and painter who draws figurative images. He is inspired by Māori design elements as well as the Japanese culture of anime. Brooklyn hopes to influence young generations.

    Brooklyn is currently in his 1st year of the degree at Toihoukura.

    Family Mixed

    Medium: Painting
    Dimensions:1000mm x 300mm
    Materials: panel, paint
    Kaupapa/Background Description: A mixture of my family.

  • Denise Te Hau

    Ngai Tamanuhiri, Ngāti Porou


    Medium: Hue/Harakeke
    40cm x 25cm
    Materials: Hue/Harakeke
    Kaupapa/Background Description: Vessels of multiple use.

  • Erena Koopu

    Ngāti Awa, Te Whānau a Apanui

    Erena Koopu is a painter and Māori performing artist who’s works are influenced by Te Ao Māori with a focus on retelling iwi narratives. Erena uses her position as senior lecturer to broadening knowledge of toi Māori through teaching and engagement at Toihoukura, School of Māori visual art.

    He Kawa tō Kawa

    Medium: Paint
    1200x 900
    Materials: Acrylic on Board

    Kaupapa/Background Description: ‘He Kawa tō kawa’ is reflection of individuals contrasting values and beliefs. Where there is light there is darkness, where there is right there is wrong, where there is love there is hate, where there is pain there is healing. He Kawa Maiora taku kawa.

  • Erena Bridy Lundon

    Ngāti Māhuta, Ngāpuhi

    Erena (Ngāti Māhuta, Ngāpuhi) is a painter, who is influenced by Māori culture and history. Erena explores the beauty of nature and all aspects of indigenous perspectives and traditions. Erena is a first-year student studying at Toihoukura working towards her degree.

    Te mātahi o te tau

    Medium: Painting
    76 x 51m
    Materials: Acrylic on canvas
    Kaupapa/Background Description: Ka rewa a Matariki ka rere te kanakana. Nau mai te iwa o Matariki, te mātahi o te tau hou Māori.

  • Haakona Rangiawha

    Waikato, Ngāti Porou

    Haakona Rangiawha (Waikato, Ngati Porou) is an emerging contemporary Māori artist studying at Toi Houkura. His main mediums are working with pen and paper and paint. Haakona is inspired our whenua, whānau and whakapapa when it comes to creating his works.

    Ngaa Kuri Paaka

    Medium: Drawing
    Dimensions: 841x945mm
    Materials: Pigment liner, copic markers, pencil, fabriano paper
    Kaupapa/Background Description: This piece relates to the front line of Ngāti Porou (Nga kuri Paaka) who were Korohou, Kuku and Rongotangatake. Known to protect their people they were also troublemakers.

  • Hamiora Renata

    Ngāti Raukawa, Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou


    Medium: painting
    Dimensions: 60×90
    Materials: acrylic paint
    Kaupapa/Background Description:
    He whakamānawa ki te whetu tārake i te rangi, e whakatarihauhunga i ngā tōmina nui o te tau. 

  • Heremaia Barlow

    Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Whatua

    Toitu Te Whenua

    Medium: Framed Drawing
    450mm x 625mm
    Materials: Ink pen & watercolour on Fabriano

    Kaupapa/Background Description: The diamond shape Taniko indicates a waka (society) moving through turbulent waters, represented by the puhoro and koru flowing off. The two Manaia at the top show us we have a path to choose, do we move back to and indigenous model of looking after our world or stay on the capitalist’s path to destruction and exploitation of natural resources.

  • Hinemoana Te Aroha Ngaru Roa Tautari

    Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou

    “He Pukepukerau”

    Medium: painting
    Dimensions: 1200X300
    Materials: acrylic on MDF

    Kaupapa/Background Description: “He Pukepukerau” inspired from my iwi Ngati Hine Pukepukerau. This piece represents the many hills in Ngati Hine Pukepukerau. On every hill stands a taniwha and a rangatira that will stand as kaitiaki and protect the descendants of Ngati Hine.

  • Karaitiana Te Amotawa Tibble Pou

    Ngāti-Porou, Te Whānau-a-Apanui


    Medium: Painting
    Dimensions: width: 460mm Length: 560mm
    Materials: Acrylic paint and gesso on stretched canvas

    Kaupapa/Background Description: 

    This piece portrays the celestial being represented in the feather travelling through different dimensions of your inner self.. 

  • Karere Brown

    Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata

    “Te mauri ka Whakapiki”

    Medium: Painting
    Materials: Acrylic on Canvas

    Kaupapa/Background Description: This Piece for me is a special one,Covid 19 was a hard time for me and coming out of it and being back at school and also being with friends and whanau I had not seen in a whilereally uplifted my spirit hence the name “Tenei Te Mauri Ka Whakapiki”

  • Kassana Te Aho-Waikari

    Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Tuwhakairiora

    Te Rapunga

    Medium: Painting
    760 x 380 mm
    Materials: Acrylic paint and gloss on stretched canvas

    Kaupapa/Background Description: Te Rapunga captures a defining moment in time, where our tipuna harnessed a deep understanding of the stars and used them to navigate across the pacific ocean. Acknowledging Atua along the way.

  • Lacey Bartlett

    Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Te Whakatohea


    Medium: Raranga
    600 mm diameter
    Materials: Kiekie, Dyed Harakeke

    Kaupapa/Background Description: This piece is about allowing the evolution of thought in order to create an evolution of self

  • Makarini Solomon

    Te Whānau A Kai , Ngāti Kahungunu

    Makarini is a multi faceted artist whose primary disciplines are carving, tāmoko and painting.  He focuses on fusing traditional concepts with contemporary methods using contemporary materials to create his unique work.  He is one of the first graduates of Toihoukura, where he now teaches in the undergraduate program.


    Medium:  Mixed Media
    Materials:  Acrylic on canvas
    Dimensions:  700 mm diameter

    Kaupapa:  This work depicts the full blue moon.

  • Mahaki Whauwhau

    Ngāti Haua, Ngāti Kahungunu, Waikato-Maniapoto

    Mahaki is a second year student at Toihoukura, he is a multi faceted artist, however focuses on primarily painting and drawing. His upbringing in a large passionate Māori whanau inspires his works. Mahaki comes to Toihoukura from Waikato.

    He āo ano i tua

    Medium: Acrylic on canvas
    18 x 36
    Materials: acrylic, stretch canvas, linear brush

    Kaupapa/Background Description: This piece is about my life after getting hapu with my little one, it made me realise that there’s more to this world then we know, and it’s not about me anymore, its about everyone around me, my friends, my loved ones and most of all my little family. I wanted to acknowledge that there’s more to my life then people think but you also don’t know the other stuff that’s happening in other people world. Kiaora

  • Maia Keane

    Ngai Tāmanuhiri

    Maia Keane is a young aspiring contemporary Māori artist who is currently studying towards Te Toi o Nga Rangi – Māori Visual Arts Bachelor degree from Toihoukura Māori Visual Arts school. Maia grew up in West Auckland, and has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tāmanuhiri and Rongowhakaata.

    Maia is a painter and illustrator, whose work embraces and reacts to her endless journey into her māoritanga.


    Medium: Painting
    28” diameter
    Materials: Acrylic Paint on MDF

    Kaupapa/Background Description: This piece is my depiction of over-thinking. It was my intention to make it look like an eyeball with a tiny figure trapped in the iris. The figure is a design of mine that I have been developing over the past few months, it is my take on the traditional pitau a manaia kowhaiwhai pattern. My goal for this piece was to use the circular shape in a different way, meanwhile adding more character to the story of the piece.

  • Mahaki Solomon

    Te Whānau a Kai, Ngāti Kahungunu

    Mahaki is a multi medium artist and is infuenced by traditional narratives and emotions.  He is focussed on relief, using layers of mediums to create shadows.  He is currently studying at Toihoukura.


    Medium:  Relief Painting
    Materials:  Resin on MDF

    Ahakoa ko wai koe, ka taea e koe.  Ahakoa nō whea koe, he uri koe nō Māui.

  • Melanie Tangaere Baldwin

    Ngāti Porou, Rongomaiwahine

    Melanie Tangaere Baldwin (Ngāti Porou, Rongomaiwahine) is a multi disciplinary artist who’s work focuses on whānau, motherhood, mana wahine and the Māori colonised experience.

    She is a Masters graduate from Toihoukura, where she now teaches in the undergraduate programmes.

    “The condition of women in a nation is the real measure of its progress” – Ngūgī wa Thiongo

    Medium: Painting
    760 x 1020mm
    Materials: Oil stick, acrylic, shellac on stretched canvas

    Kaupapa/Background Description: I want people to notice women, the realities of womens’ lives, of the lives of Māori women – and consider how comfortable they are with what they see.

  • Michelle Hinekura Kerr

    Ngāti Raukawa, Te Aitanga a Hauiti

    Michelle grew up in Uawa and comes from a family of kai raranga.  Her grandmother Madeleine Tangohau and wider family have been hugely influential in her weaving practice.  Michelle has been weaving seriously for the past 15 years.  Wearable Arts is a passion for Michelle and features strongly in her weaving.  Michelle is also a painter who enjoys the dreamlike aspects of surrealism.  Michelle is inspired by purakau, current affairs and the natural world.

    Michelle has exhibited in the past with Toi Hauiti, Toihoukura and with her whanau have completed numerous whaariki for local marae in the Tairawhiti.  Michelle is currently studying towards her Masters in Maori Visual Arts at Toihoukura.    Michelle’s weaving is contemporary, suitable to be worn with a hint of tradition.  While her painting is full of wonder, kaupapa and korero!

    Te Waewae Kapiti o Tara raua ko Rangitane

    Medium: Painting
    Dimensions: 50 x 172cm
    Materials: Acrylic on stretched canvas and gold leaf

    Kaupapa/Background Description:Ka rāhui ngā manu, ka ora.

  • Nathaniel Nathan

    Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahungunu


    Medium: graphite, charcoal on paper
    650 x 475
    Materials: graphite pencil, charcoal, paper

    Kaupapa/Background Description:

    To adapt is mankind’s preservation in this world; according to history.

  • Ngaire Tuhua


    Ngaire Tuhua (Waikato, Ngati Whatua) is a multi-faceted visual artist whose primary artforms include painting, digital art and ta moko.  She draws inspiration from the rich history and heritage of Waikato to create artwork that focus on kotahitanga, mana motuhake and the intricate tapestry of whakapapa.

    Conquer by Contract

    Medium: Digital
    Materials:Digital print on board

    Kaupapa/Background Description: Conquer by Contract addresses the dirty politics and misleading, legally binding contracts created by early European settlers, for Maori in a desperate attempt to ‘civilise’ Maori after a failed attempt to annihilate Maori in battle.

  • Porourangi Poutu

    Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Waikato, Ngapuhi

    Porourangi is a drawer/painter whose works are inspired by hapu and whanau based narratives. He focuses on using combinations of painting and ink drawing to display the different examples of Māori art that derives from his marae. Porourangi is currently working on strengthening and expanding his knowledge of Māori contemporary art in his first year of the degree at Toihoukura.

    “Hononga tangaengae”

    Medium: ink on fabriano
    A3 (420×297mm)
    Materials: ink pens, fabriano

    Kaupapa/Background Description:

    “He hononga whakapapa he hononga tangaengae”

    Ko porourangi nana a ueroa ko tokerau ka puta ko iwi pupu nana ko kahungunu ko kahukuranui ko rakaihikuroa ko tupurupuru ko rangituehu ko tuaka ko mahinarangi. Na reira ka tiro ake ki nga kawai whakapapa e herea nei  I nga iwi I Waikato me ngati porous me ki.

    Ki roto I tenei tumomo mahi toi ko taku hiahia kia whakaatu I te hononga waenganui I enei iwi pehea? ma te hononga whakapapa hei tapiri ano ki te kaupapa nei ko te whakamana I te haukainga I ngati raukawa.

  • Steve Gibbs

    Ngai Tamanuhiri

     Steve Gibbs is a painter of Ngai Tamanuhuri who resides in Turanga nui a Kiwa.  His work incorporate contemporary Maori Design within a traditional context and inspired by the uniquely painted meeting houses in his home region of Tairawhiti. Much of his imagery contains personal references to his tribal histories of Turanga (Gisborne) and his Papakainga, or ancestral home, Tamanuhiri Marae, Muriwai. His recent works and research have been based on the hoe.


    Medium: Paint
    500mm x 400mm
    Materials: Acrylic on Montval Aquarelle paper

  • Tapuhi TauTau Broughton Tuapawa

    Te Aitanga A Hauiti, Ngāti Tuwharetoa

    Tapuhi from Te Aitanga-A-Hauiti, Ngāti Tūwharetoa is a multi-disciplined artist who is influenced by Te Ao Māori and kōrero from home. Tapuhi explores different kinds of art to create and tell stories. Tapuhi is in her first year of degree at Toihoukura.


    Medium: Painting
    61 x 30m
    Materials: Acrylic on canvas

  • Taylor De’la’mere Robson

    Te Rarawa, Te Whānau-a-Apanui

    Taylor De’la’mere Robson (Te Rarawa, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) is a painter whose works are inspired by the environment, tribal narratives and whakapapa.  He uses his artwork to discover his tatai whakapapa and reconnect to the people, land and sea.


    Medium: Painting
    Materials: Acrylic on canvas

    Kaupapa/Background Description: An artwork created in response to Covid and the opportunity it created to regenerate the children of Tangaroa and Tane Mahuta

  • Tuhoea Kihi


    Tuhoea Kihi (Waikato) is a multi-disciplined artist who’s work is focused on tradition and contemporary Maori artwork.  Tuhoea is enrolled into the Level 4 Certificate program at Toihoukura.

    Te Po Uriuri

    Medium: Painting
    Materials:Acrylic on stretched canvas

    Kaupapa/Background Description:In context, te po represents the realm of potential where I draw inspiration and courage to express my creative ability.

  • Paora Peipi

    Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou

    Paora is a wood working and relief artist whose works are made from recycling old materials with a focus on re-telling traditional narratives from a Māori perspective.  He creates works that tell narratives using Tewhatewha but also making his works functional.  He is currently working on creating more functional artworks that continue to bring traditional narratives into the modern landscape.

    Te Tohu o Tū

    Medium:  Whakairo, carving, relief
    Description:  Mounted and framed
    Dimensions:  420 X 1445 mm


  • Ngaire Tuhua

  • Nathaniel Nathan

  • Erena Koopu

  • Tipene Gibbs

  • Tā Derek Lardelli