Watch: Natalie Robertson, Ngāti Porou photographer

Natalie Robertson describes photographs in her series, Tātara e maru ana – The sacred rain cape of Waiapu as visual documentation, but they’re also poetic and lyrical.

These photographs document the life and health of the Waiapu River in Tai Rāwhiti (East Coast). They focus on its environmental restoration – the attempt to return the river to its ‘desired state’ over the next 100 years.

Informed by oral histories, the photographs embody the whakapapa

  whakapapaancestral tiesMāori
 of the Waiapu landscape, and the intimate relationship that Ngāti Porou have with it.

Selected works from Natalie Robertson’s series, Tātara e maru ana – The sacred rain cape of Waiapu are on display in Te Papa’s Toi Art exhibition Hīnaki: Contemplation of a form until June 2024.

Watch Natalie Robertson