Te Mātakitaki i te hara i a Te Haranui

Exhibition on show at Te Awamutu Museum!

A significant exhibition commemorating 200 years since the battle Mātakitaki in 1822.

At that time, Mātakitaki was the metropolis of Ngāti Hikairo, with the site being made up of three distinct components – fortified pā.

Te Haranui was from Ngā Puhi and a nephew of Hongi Hika. After being killed during a feud with a local man, word reached his Uncle. Hongi Hika, and his very large ope group eventually set off from Te Tai Tokerau, seeking revenge for the death of Te Haranui.

Due to this attack, and the subsequent massacre of thousands at Mātakitaki, the name was adapted to Te Mātakitaki i te hara i a Te Haranui – the observance of the wrongdoing committed against Te Haranui. Hence the reason why the exhibition is so named, to highlight this not so well known name.

Te Awamutu Museum have been working closely with mana whenua for many months preparing this showcase, both of which are looking forward to sharing this special kōrero with those who visit.

“It’s been a privilege to collaborate with hapū iwi members to share collective stories of life, loss and reconciliation,” said Henriata Nicholas Museum Exhibitions Coordinator. “This being the 200th  commemoration of the 1822 attack on the pā, it’s been an amazing experience to highlight these stories to the communities of Waipā from a hapū iwi perspective.”

The exhibition was due to open on the commemorative date 28th May 2022, as part of a week-long wānanga events at local marae. However, due to Covid restrictions, the organising committee decided on small dedication ceremonies this year with the opportunity for a bigger event in 2023. Committee members also decided the exhibition at the Museum continue and be opened in 2022.

The exhibition includes story board narratives about the history of Mātakitaki, as well as various taonga on display and audio mōteatea.

Come on in and immerse yourself in this story sharing event.

September 2022 – January 2023

For further enquiries contact:

Hinga Whiu – Hinga.Whiu@tainui.co.nz



Ngā Kura o Tua Whakarere

A collaborative exhibition with Raukawa, portraying the history and journey of Ngāti Raukawa. An immersive display of stories, images, taonga, audio, video and educative animations.

Open mid April – June 2022

He Marangai ki te Whenua Exhibition

He Marangai ki te Whenua Exhibition

He Marangai ki te Whenua

An exhibition by Karangawai Marsh of abstract kōwhaiwhai aho paintings informed by Māori language that reflects a concept describing language immersion and the intimate relationships shared between mātua (parent) and tama riki (children).

Karangawai Marsh is a senior tutor of Te Toioho ki Āpiti (Māori Visual Arts), Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, Massey University, a Māori language tutor and well known artist. Founder of Toi Inc and kaiwhakahaere of RaRau Mai (Māori language, whānau arts initiative), Tuku te Toi (annual marae arts project) as well as Ora te Toi (annual art exhibition project).

For the past 20 years, Karangawai has been an active member of Te Ataarangi and 3rd generation kaiak of the Te Ataarangi method. She holds a Masters of Te Toioho ki Āpiti (Māori Visual Arts) and is currently preparing her confirmation report for PhD with Toi Inc being the research focus. The proposed exhibition will be the first of four exhibition supporting Karangawai’s PhD research.

Exhibition Concept

“Kotahi kapua i te rangi, he marangai ki te whenua – One cloud from the heavens brings rain to the lands”

This is a whakataukī employed by Te Ataarangi describing and motivating their efforts as a community-based Māori language revitalisation initiative. Although the arduous efforts over the past 40 years have been carried out by a small few (kotahi kapua) the efforts have been beneficial to the survival of the language (he marangai ki te whenua). ‘He marangai ki te whenua’ will be the first of a series of four exhibitions over a four-year period committed to promoting language use and the inter-generational transmission of te reo Māori through art. All four exhibitions will be informed by art activities delivered by RaRau Mai, a community focused, Māori immersion arts initiative delivered in Palmerston North and Te Awamutu, online for whānau within the Rangitāne ki Manawatū and Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga region.

Proposed Works

Karangawai has created a series of abstract kōwhaiwhai aho paintings informed by Māori language kōwhaiwhai tutorials create for RaRau Mai. The paintings will demonstrate systems of symmetry and asymmetry through aho descending from the paintings to the gallery floor. The medium and process will reflect toutou tahi, a concept describing language immersion and the intimate relationships shared between mātua and tamariki, kaumātua and mokopuna.

The colours employed will commemorate and celebrate the efforts of Te Artaarangi and as a leading example of language revitalisation initiatives. The labels and descriptions will be written in te reo Māori in the attempt to normalise te reo Māori in a predominantly non-Māori domain.

He Marangai ki te Whenua ran from 10th December 2021 until 30th March 2022!

Puāwai Exhibition

Puāwai Exhibition

“Poipoia te kakano, kia puāwai”

“Nurture the seed and it will blossom”

Puāwai is an engaging creative studio workshop environment where audiences participate in various creative activities and art development practise with an artist’s creative space.

Oriwa Morgan-Ward is a Māori artist who has been working with the Museum for a number of years as an arts practitioner sharing and presenting educational programs, and workshops to all Museum visitors of all ages.

Puāwai is Oriwa’s way to showcasing her next stage of creative development as a Māori arts practitioner.

“I help people tap into their creativity through the essence of my language te reo Māori and with mind, body, wellness practices. With my cultural and traditional values of aroha, manaki and kaitiakitanga, my mission is to awaken the creative genius in others and encourage all that is positive.”

Whakaoho i te tama i roto. Whakaoho i te hine i roto.

Awaken the masculine and feminine with.

Puāwai is open from July – end of September 2021

Formal Friday 2.0 Exhibition

Formal Friday 2.0 Exhibition

Due to popular demand, we have extended this exhibition until July 2021. This is a great opportunity for all that missed out on visiting this exhibition during Covid change of levels, to see textiles from the Museum collection up close and personal.

As this is our response to the #FormalFridays Instagram hashtag that went viral with up to 40,000 tags alone, we thought it would be awesome if you would tag yourself with your #FormalFriday outfit on our Instagram @teawamutu_museum!

We’ll have a new video up and posted when we have time….watch this space!
Formal Friday Exhibition

Formal Friday Exhibition

Our latest exhibition is what I would like to call a rapid response show- one that was created on a very short timeline in response to what is happening in the world around us the moment.

Formal Friday became a whimsical trend in New Zealand during our response to Covid-19 global pandemic.
We’ve heard it all before; we went into lockdown for weeks on end, we were asked to work from home, we socially distanced, we shrunk our social bubbles and started living in our comfy gear. Whether this was all day in active wear, rotating the same pair of trackpants, or refusing to put on “real clothes.”
In effort to break up the monotony New Zealand moved from casual Fridays at the office, to Formal Fridays at home. All championed by our very own TV personality Hilary Barry!
Wearing Formal wear on Fridays uplifted our spirits, got us looking in our closets for our best glad rags and made Friday meetings on zoom something to look forward to.
The movement of #FormalFridays went viral with up to 40,000 tags alone on Instagram and many others taking part across other social media channels.
At Te Awamutu Museum we chose to harness this energy to ignite our own textile collection by creating a show that spans from the 1830s until today, and show what Formal Friday has meant to different people over time. Whether this is through the ceremonial outfits, what we once wore as daily attire, our uniforms or our best wears to church on a Sunday.
For our attempt at developing and creating a rapid response show and getting it all together in 6 weeks, we are pretty proud with how it all came together!
Here’s a video by our Megan Denz (Collections Manager) showing you some highlights from the exhibition.
Due to popular demand, we have extended this exhibition and will add new components to it. Watch this space!