Last chance to see Ngāti Toa Rangatira taonga and stories of Wellington at Te Papa

21 February 2017

Wellingtonians and visitors to the capital have just a few more weeks to explore the taonga of Ngāti Toa Rangatira through Te Papa’s Whiti Te Rā! The story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira Exhibition, which closes to the public on March 17.

The exhibition explores the history of Ngāti Toa Rangatira iwi as it resettled and flourished in the Wellington region and upper South Island, after migrating from Kāwhia. It tells the story of the iwi’s successes, dramatic setbacks, and extraordinary resurgence from the early 1800s to the post-war era.

Te Papa Kaihautū Dr Arapata Hakiwai says the exhibition has been popular with Wellingtonians and visitors alike, particularly the korero of Ngāti Toa Rangatira chief Te Rauparaha who composed Ka Mate, the haka made famous the world over by the All Blacks.

“With Ngāti Toa Rangatira being an iwi of the Wellington region, it’s been a great opportunity to introduce locals to this rich history throughout Wellington, Porirua and Kāpiti,” Dr Hakiwai says.

This weekend, February 25 and 26, there will be a series of events to celebrate Ngāti Toa Rangatira and the exhibition, including a bus tour of significant sites around the region.

The bus tour will begin in Island Bay, where Taputeranga Island played host to a confrontation between Ngāti Toa Rangatira and remnant local tribes, resulting in Ngāti Toa Rangatira taking control of the Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour.

Other stops will include Ngāti Toa Domain in Paremata, where Government soldiers were stationed during the 1840s when conflicts between iwi and colonial settlers were rife; and Battle Hill in Paekākāriki, the site of the last engagement between Government troops and local Māori.

Carvers from Ngāti Toa Rangatira will be creating taonga including a pou, or carved post, on Saturday and Sunday in the Amphitheatre on Level 1 from 10am to 4.30pm daily. There will also be a showcase of Ngāti Toa Rangatira arts, craft and music on Sunday on the waterfront from 11am to 4pm. It will include weaving, painting, a live Māori tattoo demonstration and live music using Māori instruments.

“The events are a chance to meet a local iwi and immerse yourself in Ngāti Toa Rangatira culture. These are their stories, this is their history and what better way to learn more than to get to see and experience the culture first hand,” Dr Hakiwai says.

Whiti Te Rā! The story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira opened in 2014. Ngāti Toa was the seventh iwi to be represented with an exhibition at Te Papa.

Notes for Editors

Whiti Te Rā! The story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira is open at Te Papa on Level 4 until March 17. Free entry.

Events schedule

Ngāti Toa Bus Tour

Sat 25 Feb 2017, 11:00am–4:00pm
Meet at Te Papa main entrance, Level 1
Cost $15, SuperGold Card holder $5, tamariki (child) $5

Carvers in the Courtyard

Sat 25 Feb 2017 and Sun 26 Feb 2017, 10:00am–4:30pm
Te Papa Amphitheatre, Level 1

Storytelling with Patricia Grace

Sun 26 Feb 2017, 11:00–11:30am
Te Papa - Signs of a Nation, Level 4

Ngāti Toa Artists’ Pā

Sun 26 Feb 2017, 11:00am–4:00pm
Te Papa - Lawn outside NatureSpace Discovery Centre, Level 2 (access from waterfront or NatureSpace)

Media contact

Sophie Speer
027 892 6938