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.


A prophecy of darkness

In 1766, a Ngāti Maru elder by the name of Toiroa foresaw the coming of the ENDEAVOUR and recited this prophecy:

Tiwhatiwha te pō, Ko te Pakerewhā, Ko Arikirangi tēnei rā te haere nei.
Dark, dark is the night. There is the Pakerewha. There is Arikirangi to come.

On October 8, 1769, Cook’s ENDEAVOUR sailed into the mouth of Tūranganui River and Toiroa’s vision came to life. During the first 48 hours of interaction between Pākehā and Māori, a series of deaths, injuries and kidnappings befell the people of Raukawa and Ngāti Oneone. The ENDEAVOUR moved on shortly afterwards, having traumatised the community, and as a final insult Cook chose to refer to the area ‘Poverty Bay’.

7558 Collective’s audiovisual installation brings these events to life.


Discover Rongowhakaata’s places and people

Articles, video, and more about Gisborne iwi Rongowhakaata, whose exhibition Ko Rongowhakaata: The Story of Light and Shadow is on display at Te Papa now.




The last 250 years have seen Rongowhakaata’s story excluded from any official retelling of the first 48 hours of interaction between Māori and Europeans. Our classrooms, museums and ‘history’ told a story that briefly mentioned a ‘skirmish’ or ‘unfortunate events’. No government document or history book sought to tell the story of violence, death and terror from the perspective of those directly affected.

Ever since the idea of ‘commemorating’ Cook’s 1769 arrival was mooted, Rongowhakaata have centred themselves in these discussions. Rongowhakaata have demanded to be seen, heard, and to have the right to control the telling of their story. Iwi Trust chairwoman Moera Brown explains that Rongowhakaata do not want to ‘become the sensation in someone else’s story’. The work serves as one such act, and the viewer must be respectful of the mamae (hurt) and vulnerability the act of telling brings with it.


7558 Collective

This multidisciplinary collective of women create immersive installations using audio and visual projections. Their work has been exhibited in Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington. With a focus on developing an immersive soundscape for the exhibition, the collective researched taonga pūoro or Māori wind instruments held in the Te Papa Collection. They are interested in the strength of whakapapa or genealogical structures, highlighting the importance of intangible connections between people and the earth.


  • Tūrama Festival, Read more

  • “He Timatanga Hou” – New Beginnings, Toi Māori Aotearoa, 2018. Read more

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