Poroporoaki – Te Ao Hou: A moment in time

Māia Abraham, Acting Manager Māori Services Kaiwhakahaere Ngā Ratonga Māori, introduces Te Ao Hou: A Moment in Time, our upcoming exhibition which runs from 16 April to 7 August 2022. As the exhibition moves through its different stages, the information contained here will be updated.

What is Te Ao Hou?

A timely moment for us to celebrate the tenacity and elegance of the Māori spirit through an exhibition that centres the magazine Te Ao Hou: The New World, published 1952 – 1975.

In the opening article of the first volume it states that,

“Te Ao Hou should become like a ‘Marae’ on paper, where all questions of interest to the Māori can be discussed”.

The exhibition located in Te Pito Huarewa | Southbase Gallery, Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2, Tūranga, uses this metaphorical approach as the framework for the display, borrowing stages from the pōwhiri process. As it welcomes you onto the marae, so too does it welcome you into the exhibition to celebrate, converse and dwell in the presence of the voices represented in Te Ao Hou.

Christchurch City Libraries is proud to have in our collection, the full set of volumes available to browse at Tūranga. They were quarterly magazines published by the Māori Affairs Department and printed by Pegasus Press in Christchurch.

The main exhibition is on display at Tūranga from Saturday 16 April through to 7 August. 

Travelling exhibition

In addition to the main exhibition at Tūranga two smaller, travelling versions will be on display at libraries around the city. See details of travelling exhibition


Nau mai, haere mai.

The call of welcome. The karanga informs those around that the hosts are ready and it is the first voice you hear in the proceedings, inviting you in to begin the gathering. Our promotional material and design acts as the karanga, extending to you the opportunity to join us in this celebration of the magazine Te Ao Hou.

The design and marketing brings together fundamental Māori voices of not only the pages of Te Ao Hou, but more widely in their related fields. Those people are master writer Patricia Grace through her beautiful poem, Shining Cuckoo and Para Matchitt with his striking blue, black and white back cover design. The blue of Matchitt’s design lays the foundation for Grace’s poem to let the invitation fly.

You will see this across our printed material like the brochure that opens up like the gates of the waharoa, further connecting back to the processes of the marae. Our posters bear the same colours which link all the material as well as mimicking the distinctive cover designs of Te Ao Hou. Our digital material continues the invitation across different platforms, reaching people far and wide.

See photos of the exhibition installation.


16 April – 15 May

Tēnā koutou katoa.

The forum for formal speech making is the time when each side, group or party get the opportunity to discuss the agenda of the day. Everyone’s view can be represented through the whaikōrero. It is a display of the opinions and feelings of the time through the mastery of language and debate. This part of the exhibition presents moments of discussion and formal gathering that are present with in the pages of Te Ao Hou.

On the walls are selected articles that acknowledge the way Māori were discussing, pondering, thinking and teaching others about Māori affairs of the time. Represented are also the masters of language and communication like our poets Rowley Habib and Puhiwahine and Māori actors, highlighting this integral aspect of the whaikōrero. The chosen pages are enlarged and presented on the walls of the gallery, framed like masterpieces to be admired. Surrounding the pages on the wall are brightly coloured frames that are reminiscent of the cover pages with their band of colour holding the Te Ao Hou name in place. Cooler pastel colours and the vibrant warm colours pop from the wall. Embellishing the frames are patterns and designs that come from the pages of Te Ao Hou, providing a nice beginning and end to the pages on the wall.

Te Ao Hou: A moment in time exhibition (whaikōrero phase), Tūranga
Te Ao Hou: A moment in time exhibition (whaikōrero phase), Tūranga

Inside the cabinet are more pages of Te Ao Hou on display on their bed of colour. They hold our attention just like the frames of the walls do with the colour. The cabinet pages are again exploring these moments of discussion and storytelling through articles that share traditional knowledge of the kumara and kites. A great article to read is the Māori Warriors Book of Dreams, (September 1962, vol 40, pg 38) which documents the visions and dreams of a Māori warrior named Aporo who was fighting on behalf of the Māori king. It is a unique glimpse into the feelings and perspectives of the time through dreams and drawing.

Te Ao Hou: A moment in time exhibition (whaikōrero phase), Tūranga
Māori Warrior's Book of Dreams, Te Ao Hou exhibition.

This phase of the exhibition is open and welcomes you into the moment in time that was and still is, Te Ao Hou.

See more photos of the whaikōrero phase of this exhibition.


16 May – 12 June

Tihei mauri ora! The breath of life that is shared to connect people with each other. During this phase the exhibition presents moments of whānaungatanga | relationships and inter-tribal connections.
Te Ao Hou: A moment in time exhibition (hongi phase), TūrangaTe Ao Hou: A moment in time exhibition (hongi phase), Tūranga

See more photos of the hongi phase of this exhibition.


13 June – 10 July

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou. A time to share food together as well as close off the formal part of the proceedings. The exhibition presents moments of manaakitanga | hospitality or care for others in action as well as recipes a plenty.

Hou: A moment in time exhibition (hakari phase), Tūranga
Hou: A moment in time exhibition (hakari phase), Tūranga

See more photos of the hakari phase of this exhibition.


11 July – 7 August

Nō reira, tēnā tātou. The time of reflection altogether on where we have been, what are doing now and where we are going. The exhibition presents moments of celebration for our artists and creatives as well as visions and aspirations for the future.

See photos of the Poroporoaki phase of the exhibition.

Te Ao Hou - Poroporoaki phase

Find out more