Te Awa Tupua: The Whanganui iwi 

This exhibition now closed
29 November 2003 – 1 May 2006
Free entry
Maori; People and history 

Te Awa Tupua is the fourth in a series of iwi (tribal) exhibitions developed in partnership with Te Papa. We, the Whanganui River people, invite you to take a journey through this exhibition with us and encounter some of our stories and treasures.

Our journey reflects the qualities and moods of our river – grandeur and mystery, turbulence as well as steady flow. As the story unfolds, you will see how the river has influenced every aspect of our lives. You will see waka (canoes) that have travelled the river highway and the fishing technology we have used to harvest the river’s bounty.

Other taonga (treasures) illustrate the knowledge and skills of our artists. A gallery of historical photos brings you a diverse record of our ancestors. Through videos you can experience the presence and voices of our people today. Videos and an interactive also show you the spectacular beauty of our river and its landscape.

The well-being of our river is intertwined with its people’s well-being. You will find out how both the river and we as an iwi (tribe) have been affected by changes to our lands and to the use of our river’s resources. You can explore how these issues came together in the Pakaitore (Moutoa Gardens) occupation in 1995.

You will also see how we are facing the challenges posed by the past and securing the future for our mokopuna – the generations to come.