Kia ora koutou,

It is half way through the year already! Over the past two terms, we have really enjoyed helping school groups to appreciate the rich history and environment of the Porirua area. Our long-term gallery exhibitions of Whiti Te Ra!The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Te Awarua-o-Porirua are wonderful ways to engage your students with activity-based learning opportunities and authentic experiences about this special place.

We are inviting you and your students to visit Pātaka from August to December to experience our exciting gallery-wide Tuia 250 exhibition HERE: From Kupe to Cook. HERE begins with the epic journey of the Polynesian navigator Kupe, to Aotearoa, and features artwork by many leading contemporary artists looking and revisiting subsequent South Pacific voyages. From mid-December Pātaka will then be featuring a major 20 year retrospective exhibition on the work of Wayne Youle – a local Bay Boy – which will be on show until 29 March 2020. We always have fun responding to Wayne Youle’s varied artwork and it appeals to students of all ages.

Remember our museum education programmes are free of charge to local schools and $2 per student for schools outside Porirua. Talk to us about how programmes can be adapted and shaped around your learning focus. Please check out other permanent programmes available on the Education section of Pātaka’s website (being redesigned).

Linda, Melania, Kawika and Esmé (back in October)

www.pataka.org.nz/education for more information and our pre & post visit activities
Email: patakaeducation@pcc.govt.nz for booking enquiries or phone (04) 237 3551
Join us on facebook: www.facebook.com/PatakaEducation



HERE: Kupe to Cook
11 August – 24 November 2019

Image: Greg Semu, The Arrival, 2014-15, C type photograph, 126.5 x 168.7cm, Courtesy of the artist

Pātaka marks 250 years since Captain Cook’s arrival in Aotearoa with an exhibition exploring the voyagers who were first to come here—Māori, Polynesian and European navigators. Taking over four of the main galleries, HERE features works by leading contemporary artists, including Dame Robin White, John Walsh, Greg Semu, Christine Hellyar, Rachael Rakena and Johnson Witehira. Their artworks reference the long and varied histories of South Pacific voyages—from Kupe to Cook.

We will explore 1000 years of Pacific voyaging and navigation and the encounters between two great voyaging traditions and cultures in Aotearoa. The ancient knowledge of Polynesian navigating, by using the stars, sky and nature, has been used in recent times for ocean-voyaging in double-hulled waka and documentaries made about these voyages, as well as the movie Moana, has brought these skills to public attention. We will explore the amazing feats of long distance ocean-voyaging and the reasons why people ventured across the world’s greatest ocean to Aotearoa. Students will view the different perspectives and responses of how past arrivals and encounters are being remembered by contemporary artists. In the work room students will construct voyaging waka models out of driftwood. The exhibition title can also be read for its Te Reo meaning of ‘a place to bind your waka’.

Curriculum Links

The Arts, Visual Arts: Students will explore, describe and share the ideas and meanings communicated by their own and others’ objects and images CI [L1-4]. Students will investigate the purpose of objects and images from past and present cultures and identify the contexts in which they were or are made, viewed and valued UC.

Social Sciences: Students will gain knowledge, skills and experience to understand how early Polynesian and British migrations to New Zealand have continuing significance for tangata whenua and communities [L3]. Students will gain knowledge to understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people, places and environments [L4]. Students will gain knowledge to understand how people’s perspectives on past events that are of significance to New Zealanders differ [L6].

Pre and Post visit ideas

> WATCH the movie Moana to see what navigational techniques were used on their ocean voyages
> FIND on a map of the Pacific Ocean where the Polynesian Triangle is located – with Hawai’i to the north, Easter Island (Rapanui) to the East and New Zealand (Aotearoa) to the South. What Island Nations are contained within that triangle?
> LOCATE on a map the Pacific Nations/Islands found in Melanesia and Micronesia
> RESEARCH the legendary homeland called Hawaiiki across the Pacific
> SEARCH for information on Pacific Migrations using the Te Ara website
> LOCATE places/place names around Aotearoa associated with the Polynesian explorer Kupe
> DISCOVER what stars were/are considered the most widely used navigational pointers over the Pacific
> CREATE a display wall of the different types and functions of waka/vaka used throughout the Pacific
> READ some of the legends surrounding hero and demi-god Polynesian explorers (Maui etc)
> CONSTRUCT a timeline of the amazing feats of migration by Polynesian ancestors – stretching back more than 6000 years ago from South East Asia to Eastern Polynesia
> IMAGINE all the adventures, fears and wonders faced on those early voyages and WRITE a story about why you were forced to leave your island home and how you ventured across unknown seas beyond the horizon


The long-term exhibitions of‘ WHITI TE RA!– The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Our Harbour : Te Awarua-o-Porirua will continue through until 2022. These two exhibitions are a wonderful way to connect students with the past and places of significance in our local area. Learn about the arrival of Porirua’s tangata whenua and examine some amazing taonga through group-based activities and a workroom art activity. Our Harbour: Te Awarua-o-Porirua is a gallery where 2m high colourful illustrations of how the harbour has changed over time will help students understand the impact of human settlement, environmentalism and how crucial it is to become kaitiaki (guardians) of the waterways in Porirua. Students will learn about the life-cycle of the long-finned tuna (eels) and how they help us to assess the health of our streams. (All levels)

Our Harbour— Te Awarua-o-Porirua

Until 2022

When you walk into Te Awarua-o-Porirua Gallery you are surrounded by glowing large drawn murals on the wall about the different kinds of birds, fish, insects, animals and people who have lived around Te Awarua-o-Porirua for over 800 years. The gallery ‘reads’ like a pictorial timeline and history picture-book come to life. It’s a great way for younger children to explore how life around the harbour has changed over time and we will use objects from our tactile collection to investigate the technology of the different times portrayed. Your visit could also include a look at the adjacent Whiti Te Rā exhibition.

Te Awarua-o-Porirua can also be used to explore issues around pollution, sustainability and the need to improve and keep our harbours and waterways healthy for future generations.

Pre and Post visit ideas

  • FIND OUT about the story of the taniwha Awarua
  • INVESTIGATE what it means to be the kaitiaki of an important place
  • EXPLORE the harbour-side walkways, go for a walk ( from Pāuatahanui and from the harbour front at Porirua) and take photographs of it
  • ORGANIZE a class photographic display of the harbour which shows off its scenic qualities as well as the many different ways people and birds use and enjoy the harbour
  • CREATE a nature diary on your walk and collect leaves, grasses, seed heads to stick in. Sketch what you see
  • DECORATE some local shells and think about what you can make out of them
  • ORGANISE a rubbish clean-up at the harbour side. Create a survey and plot a graph of what different types of rubbish you find
  • RESEARCH about how pollution (especially plastic) is threatening our oceans
  • INVITE someone from the City Council to discuss with your class the problems facing the harbour and discuss what is being done and future solutions to keep our harbour healthy
  • COLLABORATE together to create a rubbish sculpture (But clean the rubbish first!)

Image: Our Harbour – Te Awarua-o-Porirua artwork detail by Mat Tait (www.mattait.com)

WHITI TE RĀ! – The Story
of Ngāti Toa Rangatira

Until Mid 2022

This interactive exhibition describes the story of the tangata whenua of Porirua – Ngāti Toa Rangatira and their amazing story of successes, struggles and survival over 200 years. Their journey begins with Te Heke Mai Raro (the Southern Migration) in the 1820s and ends with their recent fight for redress over past injustices and Treaty Settlement. Unique taonga are featured belonging to the famous leaders/rangatira and women of Ngāti Toa Rangatira. Students will be able to make connections between the taonga on display with their owners and the stories and significant events surrounding them. Also included is a film on the story behind Te Rauparaha’s famous haka Ka Mate.

Curriculum Links

The Arts, Visual Arts: Students will share the ideas, feelings, and stories communicated by their own and others’ objects and images CI.
Social Sciences: Students will understand how the past is important to people. Students will understand how Te Awarua-o-Porirua is significant for individuals and groups. Students will understand how time and change affect people’s lives.
Science: Planet Earth and Beyond – Students will describe how natural features are changed and resources affected by natural events and human actions.
Health: Healthy Communities & Environments – Students will take individual and collective action to contribute to environments that can be enjoyed by all.

Pre and Post visit ideas

  • LOCATE where Kāwhia Harbour is on a map of New Zealand. How far away is it from Porirua?
  • INVESTIGATE who these people from Ngāti Toa Rangatira are : Te Rangihaeata, Te Rauparaha, Kupe, Rangi Topeora, and why they are important
  • RESEARCH about the early trade between Māori and Pākehā in New Zealand
  • STUDY the process of turning harakeke into muka
  • FIND OUT what a Hei Tiki is
  • DISCOVER the story behind the Haka and when and why it is used

Image: “Tuhiwai” mere pounamu (nephrite weapon), 1500-1800, Otago, maker unknown. Gift of the Wineera family, 1963. Te Papa (ME010922)

Whiti Te Rā! – The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira is developed and toured by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.



Image: Shannon Novak Nexus 2018 (installation detail) Photograph by Mark Tantrum

Our programme about sound, light and colour (Years 1-8)

The windows of Pātaka’s atrium feature an installation of tessellating geometric patterns of colour by New Zealand artist Shannon Novak. When the sun shines through the windows it floods the floor and surrounding surfaces with rainbow-coloured shapes. Shannon Novak has synesthesia, enabling him to see specific colours when he hears certain sounds. Our programme will explore some fundamental theories of light, colour, pattern and sound.

Curriculum Links

The Arts, Visual Arts: Students will explore a variety of materials and tools and discover elements and selected principles PK.
The Arts, Music: Students will share music making with others, using basic performance skills and techniques CI.
Science: Physical World – Students will explore everyday examples of light and colour.
Maths: Geometry and Measurement – shapes and tessellation

Pre and Post visit ideas

  • FIND out about the phenomenon of synaesthesia and how it affects the five senses
  • CREATE a fact file/display board about the rainbow and spectrum of colours
  • DISCOVER what happens when prisms hang from windows on sunny days
  • EXPERIMENT mixing primary paint colours to make secondary colours
  • INVESTIGATE how we see different colours reflecting off objects
  • FIND OUT which geometrical shapes can be tessellated and create some colourful patterns









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