Ngā Puna Waihanga

Ngā Puna Waihanga endeavoured to maintain the standards of Sir Apirana Ngata

Ngā Puna Waihanga is the national body of Māori Artists and Writers. Initially formed at Te Kaha in 1973, it is the tuakana rōpū, the oldest and most widespread Māori arts group in New Zealand. Amongst the 200 participants of the first hui convened by Hone Tuwhare were Rangimarie Hetet, Charles Bennett, Buck Nin, Ralph Hotere, Selwyn Muru, Rei Hamon, Para Matchitt, Kura Rewiri, Tui Zanetich, Micky Wairoa, Paul Katene, Rowley Habib, Dun Mihaka, Witi Ihimaera, Dinah Rawiri, Rose Denness, Ngahuia Rawiri, Roka Paora, Mana Cracknell, Ivan Wirepa, Donna Awatere, John Taiapa, Tuti Tukaokao, Bub Wehi, Elizabeth Murchie, Val Irwin, Syd and Hana Jackson, Sonny Waru, Haare Williams, Don Solomon, Paul Manu, Mihi Roberts, Bill Tawhai, Malta Sydney and Dr Douglas Sinclair, Cliff Whiting, Witi Ihimaera and Hirini Melbourne (Te Ao Hou no. 74, Nov 1973). Other founding members who still support the organisation in 2002 include Diggeress te Kanawa, Cath Brown, and Trixie Menzies.

A number of regional groups were formed, including the local one – Ngā Puna Waihanga Waitaha Tai Poutini. Over the years, the Ngā Puna Waihanga organisation mounted exhibitions and published books, while various districts hosted annual national hui and regional wānanga or workshops.

At provincial level, with Ngāi Tahu artist Cath Brown leading the rohe, a variety of wānanga have been held that include raranga, taniko, kōwhaiwhai, ceramics, waiata, book illustrating, along with other forms of art. In 1995 the local group undertook its first community project, creating a multi-media mural at Burnham School. Later in the year, a second multi-media work was produced for Hagley Community College. In 1998, a series of whāriki panels was woven for the Riki Te Mairaki Taiaroa Ellison Room at the University of Canterbury. The creation of tukutuku panels for the Library was a continuation of this practice of gifting Māori art to the community of Christchurch.

This page reproduces information from page 5 of the booklet Pūawaitanga o te Ringa - Fruits of our busy hands

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