He Manawa Tītī, The Enduring Heart

27 Sep– 27 Oct 2019

This exhibition features the artwork of Kerry Ryan Moore, Val Griffith Jones, Helen Forrest, Gregory Chaston, and Mayme Chanwai, 5 local senior artists whose work transcends their age. 

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom.” ― Gabriel Garcia Marquez , Love in the Time of Cholera.    

Within western cultures aging is stereotypically portrayed as something bad, to be fought against. Artists however seem able to live beyond these stereotypes. Art is one career you can get better at even into old age. 

This exhibition is a celebration of art and life.

In conjunction with this exhibition Pātaka is hosting a day of events on October 1st to celebrate International Day of Older Persons.

Current Exhibitions

Vista – New paintings by Irene Ferguson

11 Oct – 10 Nov 2019

Vista, an exhibition of recent paintings by Irene Ferguson mixes references to the Chinese tradition of ‘eight views’ with Western traditions of en plein air and early colonial art.  These landscapes are embellished with the fictional narratives of willow pattern dinnerware, popular culture, and a hint of absurdity like a ‘good’ Greek myth.

The exhibition includes work made in China and work completed by Ferguson upon her return to Melbourne, Australia, where she lives. Ferguson was artist in residence for three months at Red Gate, Beijing, China in 2019. This residency and exhibition were made possible by the generosity and encouragement of a large group of supporters through a crowdfunding campaign and all the people associated with the Red Gate residency.

Current Exhibitions

HERE: From Kupe to Cook


11 Aug – 23 Nov 2019


Pātaka marks 250 years since Captain Cook’s arrival in Aotearoa with an exploration of the voyagers who were first to come here—Maori, Polynesian and European navigators.

Taking over four of the main galleries, HERE features works by many of our leading contemporary artists, including Dame Robin White, John Walsh, Greg Semu, Christine Hellyar, Rachael Rakena and Johnson Witehira. Their artworks convey the long and varied histories of South Pacific voyages—from Kupe to Cook. The exhibition title can also be read for Te Reo meaning of ‘a place to bind your waka’.

HERE begins with the epic journey of Polynesian navigator, Kupe, from Hawaiki to Aotearoa. Maungaroa is the punga (anchor stone) discovered in Porirua harbour and thought to be from Kupe’s waka. It’s our earliest taonga and a tangible link to the explorer’s connection to the region.

Current Exhibitions

Whiti Te Rā – The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira

Until mid 2022


From May 2018 Pātaka Art + Museum is proud to bring Whiti Te Rā! – the Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira back to Porirua after its showing at Te Papa.

Featuring unique taonga, the exhibition explores the successes, dramatic setbacks, and extraordinary resurgence of Ngāti Toa Rangatira, starting from Te Heke Mai Raro (the Southern Migration) 200 years ago when Te Rauparaha lead the iwi to the Wellington region.

The exhibition follows the progress of the iwi through their economic rise of the 1820s and 30s, and the bitter conflicts with the colonial government of the 1840s and 50s.

Current Exhibitions

Our Harbour – Te Awarua-o-Porirua
Children’s Interactive Gallery Space>


Using colourful wall murals and objects from Pātaka’s history collection plus lots of interactive games, this new children’s gallery explores what life has been like around Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour for the people and creatures who have lived here. The harbour has been a unique home to all kinds of birds, fish, insects and some animals for thousands of years, and to people for hundreds of years. Young visitors and their families can explore our amazing harbour through time and get a glimpse of what life was like a long time ago and in the more recent past.

Current Exhibitions