Te Papa launching two new kaupapa Māori exhibitions

By Stefan Dimitrof

This morning a dawn ceremony was held at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington to launch two special exhibitions.

Photographer Te Rawhitiroa Bosch created He Kaupapa Waka, which features photos taken in 2020 at the 80th anniversary commemorating the launch of the Waka Ngātoki Mata Whaorua in Waitangi.

Manu Rere Moana Pacific Voyagers was also launched alongside so visitors can learn about Māori sailing and the skills and knowledge that gave them the ability to make it to Aotearoa.

This exhibition includes a one-third-size replica of Te Aurere, built by the late Sir Hek Busby, along with historic waka hoe(paddles) and a prized tau ihutau (prow) and tau rapatau (stern) lent by Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Bosch said it was a privilege to have tohunga present at the event from across Aotearoa.

Hoturoa Kerr said “it is great to be here at this exhibition at Te Papa today to celebrate our kaumātua HekeNukumai Puhipi (Sir Hector Busby)and (Pius) "Mau" Piailug.”

“I guess sharing the things that they shared with us, and now we are sharing those korero and those taonga with Te Papa and with everybody else in the motu.”

Te Papa mātauranga Māori head Migoto Eria said: “What makes it special is that people get to experience not only seeing taonga and stories but engaging in this mātauranga as well.

Bosch said: “I hope this kaupapa is a reflection of the whānau that want to keep our kaupapa waka alive.”