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Te Karanga ki ngā Taniwha

Te Whare Hēra Artist Residency

3 - 24 August 2023

Clyde Quay Wharf

Wellington 6011

Artist Linda Lee worked in collaboration with Ngaroma Riley, Frank Topia, Wiremu Grace, Sam Palmer, Kui Topia, Roger Haenga, Holli McEntegart, Ricky Prebble, Paegan Edmond's-Topia, Aya Takada, Jun Matsuyama, Sakura Koretsune, Te Wharewaka Tours and Massey University staff to present a free to the public exhibition and public programme featuring hīkoi, wānanga, reading groups and more.

The programme was open to the public 12 - 27 August 2023

Producer of international arts collective, Shared Lines Collaborative, Wellington’s Ōtari Raranga Weavers and co-producer of Urban Dream Brokerage, artist, Linda Lee (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Huia, Ngāti Kuri,Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa) was granted the Te Whare Hēra Artist Residency from the 3rd -24th August 2023, for Te Karanga ki ngā Taniwha. The free to the public programme was open between 12-22 August with a wide variety on offer, and suitable for all ages. 

Linda discovered she was whāngai at age 19 and as a mixed-race artist - Māori, Chinese, Pākehā, Dalmatian/Croatian, this led her to explore identity, researching and reinterpreting family, whakapapa, and further indigenous histories through exhibition, installation, photography, and book form. Continued study around mātauranga Māori, raranga, rongoā, and te reo Māori, as well as disaster management, were woven into her years of practice.

The kaupapa of Te Karanga ki ngā Taniwha, wrapped under the Shared Lines banner, was focused on further researching pūrākau and the rich history of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, beginning with Māui and the giant fish, and the story of Te Ūpoko o te Ika, tales of Ngake and Whātaitai, the history of Māori settlement, and the impacts of colonization on Māori. Te Karanga ki ngā Taniwha at Te Whare Hēra introduced people to the ancestral taniwha of Pōneke, helping us to understand why our tupuna held them in such high esteem and how we can maintain relationships with them today. 

She explained, “As our ancient guide to resource management, we examined the role of taniwha and their many functions and considered our disconnection with the natural world. This is increasingly relevant in the face of climate change and even the current pandemic.”

The public program offered free to the public, hīkoi, artist talks, and explored Linda’s work delving into pūrākau, with practitioners providing free to the public introductions to raranga, rongoā, whakairo, taonga puoro, titi tōrea through wānanga, and more.

The gallery hosted a maker space, reading room, creative activities and artists talks and was attended by an estimated 400+ visitors, participants and artists.


Te Karanga ki ngā Taniwha included Lee’s own photography, raranga, installation, and sound artworks around communicating with our ancient kaitiaki taniwha and responding to the residency site. The audio included a Whakaturamoe chant recording made in collaboration with Kaiwaiata and Kaiwhatu - Virginia (Kui) Topia (Ngā Puhi, Te Aupōuri). In addition, Linda collaborated with toi Māori artists to diversify the audience experience. 

This culminated in a fiery performance on the closing night by Linda.

A number of other highly regarded Māori practitioners involved included Ringa Whao - Ngaroma Riley (Te Aupoūri, Te Rarawa), Kairaranga - Frank Topia (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Haua), Whakairo carver, artist, storyteller, and filmmaker Wiremu Grace (Ngāti Toa, Te Atiawa ki Waikanae, Ngāti Porou), Kairongoā - Roger Haenga (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Manuel José), taonga puoro wānanga facilitator, Sam Palmer (Pākehā), as well as educator, historian, and ‘Hidden Streams’ hīkoi leader, Ricky Prebble (Pākehā/Tangata Tiriti), interdisciplinary artist, doula, and mother Holli McEntegart (Pākehā), and rongoā and mirimiri practitioner Paegan Edmonds-Topia (Ngā Puhi, Te Aupōuri).

Te Karanga ki ngā Taniwha ran at Te Whare Hēra from 3-27 August and opened to the public from the 12th August 2023 with thanks to Willis Bond, Athfield Architects, Wellington City Council, Wellington Gardens Te Whare Hēra, Toi Rauwhārangi, College of Creative Arts, Massey University. 


Linda would like to acknowledge and thank,

Taranaki Whānui, Te Āti Awa

Te Whare Hēra

Toi Rauwhārangi, College of Creative Arts, Massey University

Kindly supported by

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