'A lot of work to do' for new head of Kaupapa Māori at Auckland Art Gallery

By Te Ao - Māori News

Te Arepa Morehu (Ngāti Whātua and Ngāpuhi) has stepped into a new role as the head of kaupapa Māori at the Auckland Art Gallery.

This new appointment comes at a time of continued debate about the legacy and future role of art institutions in their relationship to kaupapa toi Māori.

“There will be a bit of work at the beginning,” says Morehu.

“In and amongst the initial stages, there will be key areas where I will be looking at ways to utilise my skill to help support and grow Te Toi o Tāmaki."

Morehu says that he was drawn to the position by the gallery's commitment to Te Ao Māori through initiatives such as Toi Tu Toi Ora and other kaupapa Māori driven exhibitions.

However, the gallery has received some flak in the past for not being entirely inclusive of Māori, which contributed to the resignation of former curator Nigel Borell late last year.

“The gallery is definitely undergoing change,” says Morehu.

“I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues on toi Māori and supporting the organisation on this journey, and I’ve been looking at the Tiriti and on the second article, it speaks about 'te tino rangatiratanga ō ngā taonga katoa', so I look forward to having these discussions."