Kia ora koutou,

Our galleries have reopened so we welcome you back to Pātaka to check out our new exhibitions through to Term 4 and beyond. Pātaka is really proud to bring Whiti Te Rā! — The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira home to Porirua after its showing at Te Papa Tongarewa. The exhibition follows the amazing journey of our tangata whenua who migrated here in the 1820s. This exhibition complements and enhances our family harbour-history gallery Te Awarua-o-Porirua. A carved taonga theme links together a wonderful retrospective exhibition of the bone carver Owen Mapp: Dragons & Taniwha – 50 Years an Artist Carver with another exhibition Puiaki – Carved Knowledge. This exhibition displays beautiful intricately-carved wooden treasure boxes, waka huia, taken from Aotearoa during the late 19th century and recently returned.

So it’s a real home-coming time here at Pātaka.
We look forward to your return visits.

Esmé and Linda
Pātaka Education team

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

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.

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.

PUIAKI – Carved knowledge
Until 19 August 2018

Waka huia are carved wooden treasure boxes shaped like a waka (canoe). Highly prized by Māori, they were used to store huia feathers, hei tiki and other valued adornments worn by high-born people. However from the late 18th century until the early 20th century many waka huia were taken from Aotearoa and traded or sold on the European market ending up in private collections and museums.

Image: Waka huia (treasure box), 1800-1900. Maker Unknown. OL000014. Oldman Collection – Gift of the New Zealand Government

OWEN MAPP: Dragons & Taniwha – 50 Years an Artist Carver
Until 19 August 2018

Owen Mapp is regarded as being the first professional contemporary artist carver of bone in the country. He has been carving bone since the late 1960s when bone was not considered as a desirable medium. Owen has played a vital part in the revival and popularity of finely-carved bone today and there are nearly three hundred pieces of his work on display. His designs incorporate Māori, Celtic and Japanese influences and they are worked into all kinds of bone including some dating back to the Ice Age. Students will be given the opportunity to try out some carving skills.

Pre and Post visit ideas

  • FIND OUT about the different types and quality of bone from different animals. Size? Weight? Texture? Colour?
  • INVESTIGATE which cultures around the world have traditionally carved bone
  • RESEARCH the ivory trade – where it is, its impact on nature and the debate about it
  • THINK about what an archaeologist does and imagine yourself making an amazing discovery for a written story
  • STUDY the main different examples of Māori carving designs
  • SKETCH examples of distinctive celtic and Japanese designs
  • READ the story of Hine – nui – te – Pō and Tane Mahuta.

Image: Owen Mapp, Shetland Viking Dragon and Taniwha Awarua 2018

Until April 2019 

Image: Shannon Novak Nexus 2018 (installation detail)

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.


ELIZABETH THOMSON: The Greening of New Blueland
2 September – 2 December 2018

Elizabeth Thomson’s works highlight ideas around our growing world problems – global warming, pollution and environmental degradation. Explore Thomson’s textured wall mounted sculptures that depict enlarged microscopic images of organic cell structures. These works remind us of the exquisite beauty and fragility of the ecosystems we too often take for granted. In our programme students will explore the incredible patterns from cells using a microscope and then create their own cell structure artwork.

Pre and Post visit ideas

  • INVESTIGATE how cells are the building blocks of all living things.
  • COLLECT different flora and fauna to bring along to Pātaka to look under our microscopes.
  • USE magnifying glasses or a microscope to look at organic material and its cells.
  • LOOK UP pictures of human cells and compare them to plant cells. What is similar? What is different?

Image: Elizabeth Thomson, The Greening of New Blueland 2014


2 September – 2 December 2018

Explore the oil paintings of Euan MacCleod, figurative works that are often self-portraits which merge into different New Zealand landscapes. Euan Macleod’s works explore states of youth and aging, the relationship between the human body and environment, and the process of memory and forgetting. With expressive strokes of oil paint, Macleod depicts himself from many different vantage points: he buries himself in earth and clay; he dissolves into a plume of volcanic smoke; he is consumed by fire. This is a great programme to explore painting and portraiture. Students will explore the paintings through gallery activities and then move into the classroom to use paint.

Pre and Post visit ideas

  • FIND OUT where White Island, Castle Point, Lyttelton Harbour and the Southern Alps are on the map. These are places Macleod paints again and again. Why do you think he repeats these places in his artwork?
  • CREATE a self-portrait of yourself in an environment, destination of place that has meaning to you.
  • WRITE a story about when you were alone in nature. How did you feel? What did you hear?

Image: Euan Macleod, Boatman 2 2005, oil on polyester, 840 1200 x 40mm, Private collection


We welcome Kawika Aipa to our Education team at Pātaka as our Education LEOTC Coordinator. He will join us at the start of Term 3 and be responsible for overseeing all our administration (bookings and confirmations). Kawika will be the main person/contact who will book your visit(s). Kawika has been working as the Events and Sponsorship Coordinator for the Porirua City Council.

Image: Kawika Aipa, Pātaka’s new Education LEOTC Coordinator.


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