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Pūtahitanga and Awakening the Taniwha


This work currently made by 60 artists currently wraps the Te Ngākau Civic Square Buildings

This can be viewed in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington 24/7.


Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga in Te Ngākau Civic Square, images and weaving from Awakening the Taniwha - Maker Space at 106 Courtenay Place

Pūtahitanaga currently installed in Te Ngakau Civic Square


A 72-metre banner has been installed in Te Ngākau Civic Square can be view any hour of the day - flowing long like an awa across the outside of vacant civic buildings - the work of 60 artists from around the nation in response to the isolation experienced during Covid lockdown. This work was first shown in Cathedral Square Christchurch. 

Pūtahitanga (a word that can be translated to mean a joining place) draws on the surrealist tradition of ‘exquisite corpse’ where each artist contributes an element as part of a collaborative whole.




Awakening the Taniwha - Workshop and Maker-space - 106 Courtenay Place


Awakening the Taniwha provides the opportunity for the public to respond by sharing their own lines. In an inner-city vacant space master carver Natanahira Pona, weaver Frank Topia and artists Ngaroma Riley and Linda Lee provide a variety of ways for people of all ages to understand taniwha, why tupuna held them in such high esteem, and how we can maintain relationships with them today. 

Taniwha are supernatural creatures who inhabit rivers, lakes, caves or the sea - some terrifying, others protective. Taniwha are our ancient guide to resource management and perhaps a new way to navigate our understanding of the Covid pandemic. 

The space will also provide a reading and conversational/writing space for sharing perspectives while an exhibition will include viewings of the 60 Pūtahitanga artists' original artworks.

This project also highlights the rich history of Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s own taniwha, Ngake and Whātaitai, and our connection with the natural world. 

We also have DIY or "click and collect" options available.

For more information and to book a group click the button below:

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Pūtahitanga at Cathedral Square 2020. Image Credits: Janneth Gil


Pūtahitanga was first installed in the new Spark Building, 2 Cathedral Square, Christchurch from October 2020 until April 2021.

The digital version of Pūtahitanga can also be accessed online; which toured nationwide on digital billboards from September 28 to the end of October. 

Read Mark Amery's essay A Shared Body of Water: Pūtahitanga.

This has been reinstalled in Te Whanganui-ā-Tara, Wellington over summer alongside Taniwha based workshops. 

SLC would like to thank the following for their support:

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