About the exhibition

In Tākiri, An Unfurling, seven contemporary artists explore early Māori and European encounters through new work inspired by museum taonga. Through soundscape, photography, illustration, cloth making, weaving and sculpture, each artist explores and confronts the ongoing impact of these historic events.

The exhibition runs from 12 October 2019 - 7 June 2020 at the Edmiston Gallery, Hui Te Ananui A Tangaroa New Zealand Maritime Museum. 

Tākiri, An Unfurling is part of the nationwide Tuia 250 commemoration and is supported by funding from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board Te Puna Tahua,Chisholm Whitney Charitable Trust and Pub Charity.

  • Reweti Arapere (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa)
  • Chris Charteris (iKiribati, Fijian, English)
  • Kohai Grace (Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Porou, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa)
  • Nikau Gabrielle Hindin (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi)
  • Jasmine Togo-Brisby (Australian South Sea Islander)
  • Rongomaiaia Te Whaiti (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Ngāi Hinewaka, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kuri, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāti Waewae) 
  • 7558 Collective

Tuia – Encounters 250 was a commemoration in 2019 marking 250 years since the first encounters between Māori and Pākehā in 1769. Tuia 250 celebrated Aotearoa New Zealand’s Pacific voyaging heritage and was a national opportunity to hold honest conversations about the past, the present and how we navigate our shared future.


Migration before and after the ENDEAVOUR

The ENDEAVOUR’s arrival in Aotearoa New Zealand 250 years ago was not a migration. It was, however, part of a broader mission to navigate and chart the Pacific as a potential area for colonisation. Cook was given a vast array of instructions by the Earl of Morton about what he should note while he was in these lands of the Pacific. These included analysing the people and the natural environment, and putting these into European frameworks of knowledge.

In Chris’ work, the six waka stands as a metaphor for all the different migration stories, from the first Pacific peoples through the subsequent waves and beyond to those still to arrive. Waka also go two ways. So, while this work invites us to reflect on our individual and collective arrivals into Aotearoa New Zealand, it also encourages us to think beyond our shores and to be part of a bigger world.

How familiar are you with your migration story to Aotearoa New Zealand?

He hekenga huirangi – Waves of migration

Collaborating with nature

Celebrating oceanic navigation and migration.

Commemorating our ancestors first journeys

This artwork calls on us to contemplate the histories that brought our own ancestors to Aotearoa. We might measure our arrival story in months, years or centuries. The journey could have been on a voyaging waka, ship or aeroplane. Regardless, a considerable level of courage underpinned our ancestors' decision to take that first journey, and that single fact connects us.

The necklace's construction emphasises these migratory connections. Pounamu is a powerful agent that bonds people with place, and grounds New Zealanders to Aotearoa, wherever we are in the world. The waka are carved from whalebone and as the descendants of Tangaroa, whales often appear as guides and guardians in the ancestral migration stories of Aotearoa. Richness of culture is signified by the incorporation of gold leaf. Pounamu beads have been bound to the whalebone waka with a plaited cord made of muka fibre, found only in Aotearoa. The muka weaves together the different vessels, people and narratives as a symbolic union of the migration stories that we all hold.


Migration: Whatever your waka

We talk to Dame Jenny Shipley about Aotearoa's migration stories, hear artists talk from the Tākiri LATE event and catch up with Ma’ara Maeva to learn more about the nose flute. 

Listen now



Chris Charteris

Charteris was originally trained in Māori design and carving at Te Rarawa Marae, in Northland in the mid-1980s, and began working as a full-time artist in the early 90s. Between 1986 and 1996 he worked as a carving tutor. In 1995 he established Te Whare Whakairo Gallery and Workshop in Dunedin. Since 1996 he has exhibited his carved pieces in many solo and group exhibitions in New Zealand and internationally, including Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, The British Museum, National Gallery of Victoria and QAGOMA, Brisbane.


  • Brick Bay Sculpture Park, Pacific Cross, 2017. Read more

  • See his work in the Te Papa collection. Read more

  • Mercury Bay Art Escape, 2019. Read more

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