Week 6 – Blog Task

The main visual and material culture has been predominantly written by the western culture due to the fact that originally there was a lack of Maori in the beginning of Aotearoa’s history where Maori could read or write in English. So it was mainly endorsed only from the Western perspective. Furthermore the Western population is a lot larger than that of the Maori, therefore less voices.

A strong example of this is the seen by the artist Isaac Gilseman’s. He created an illustrated scene of Maori culture. According to the western culture this would be classified stereotypical Maori culture. Gilseman tries to frame the Maori visual and material culture, however fails with his lack of context or enough understanding. Failing to recognise parts of the culture such as traditional tattoos and weaving.


Week 5 – Blog task


Belich, James. “Chapter 8: Making empire?” Making Peoples: A history of the New Zealanders, from Polynesian settlement to the end of the nineteenth century. Hawai’i Press, 2001. 179-203. Print

In this chapter, James Belich describes how and why the British took sovereignty over New Zealand from the Maoris’. Broken down in 3 sections they  describe as such: British Intervention; this section focuses on the British introducing themselves to New Zealand and profitability for Britain with the taking over of New Zealand State and Treaties focuses on the Treaty’s signed along the settlers and Maori and their differences and force. Lastly Converting consent is about the British trying to obtain consent from the Maori people. All the sections shared the similarity in regards to the fact that the British remained sly, deceitful and liars in order to gain power over New Zealand and did so successfully. Dick in his lecture talked about how countries and nations are some what imaginary; that they were created in order for powerful people could own they nations and countries they found. New Zealand is a example of this; was New Zealand coming as a nation mainly a ploy to enable the British Empire to have power over the country and own the land? This is relate able to exactly what  Belich was talking about; describing the ways the British over came obstacles stopping them from gaining the power and land they so greedily wanted.

Work Cited

Belich, James. “Chapter 8: Making empire?” Making Peoples: A history of the New Zealanders, from Polynesian settlement to the end of the nineteenth century. Hawai’i Press, 2001. 179-203. Print


Week 4 – Blog Task

Moko Mead’s  “Ngā Pūtanga o te tikanga”

A term that I found that correlated quite well to art/design was the word “ponu” which is conceptualised as ‘true’ or ‘genuine.’ This word is important in the context to a traditional sense, when doing something of ritual and historic, it must remain truthful i.e. “ponu” and genuine to the original sense; the respect must remain. In a sense “ponu” relates to design in the aspect that we should pay respect to are foundations in life and interpret them in our work. For example being from New Zealand and our ‘all green’ could and should be interpreted into our works.

Taonga works and intellectual Property

I have been taught in Communication in Creative Cultures that without context we can lack the ability to respect or understand something. This is the same with misuse of taonga works, one cannot use or create in this case in the work of culture of something they do not understand, resulting to the disrespect of work. The lack of context creates misunderstanding and therefore misuse, the absence of “ponu.” “The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”

Work Cited:

Spinoza, B. (n.d.). Quote. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/understanding.html.

Mead, Hirini Moko. “Chapter 2: Ngā Pūtake o te Tikanga – Underlying Principles And Values”. Tikanga Māori: Living By Māori Values. Aotearoa: Huia Publishers, 2003. 25-34. Print.

Week 3 – Blog Task

Te Puawaitanga – the flowering

Hei tiki (pendant in human form)

A tiki is apart of Maori mythology refering to the first man created by Tumatauenga or Tane who were Gods. Tiki found the first female. Therefore tiki is a very respected and historic piece of Maori culture (T.R. Hiroa, 1949). The Hei tiki piece seen above was owned by a man named Tamihana Te Rauparaha, son of Ngati Toa leader Rauparaha. Tamihana converted to Christianity in his life and is known to many for his actions, bringing peace in two separate situations. In 1845 there was a dispute between the settlers and Maori in Hutt Valley over who owned the land. Tamihana was sent by his father to peacefully send away the Maori people and was successful. Furthermore in 1946 Te Rauparaha was arrested. Tamihana dissuaded the Ngati Raukawa people from joining with Te Rangihaeata to take revenge. This historic piece of Maori art and culture, creates a memory for its people in order to respect the peace Tamihana created. The Hei tiki now has been mass produced and disrepected. This example shows you why more respect needs to be surrounded around Hei tiki.(Te papa, 2008).


Works Cited:

T.R. Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck), The Coming of the Maori. Second Edition. First published 1949. (Wellington: Whitcombe and Tombs) 1974.

Te papa. (2008). Object: Hei tiki (pendant in human form). Retrieved from Collections Te papa: http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/855412

Week 2 – Blog Task

Ancient Origins – Image example and Significance


The piece above establishes a prominent balance of functionality and art which remains a meaning understand, helping to create an understanding of the culture of the Maori that migrated from Polynesia. The fish are believed to represent the huge Blue fin Tuna; this artwork presents a certain respect for the animals that the Maori first saw when on the way or in New Zealand. I believe it corresponds with the word ‘Whenua’ which comes around the idea that we are nourished from the earth, and this must be respected. So although they may have tried hunting these fish in the long run, they still are able to respect the sacrifice they made in order to feed them. Athol Anderson speaks of how new islands were perceived as fish, it is possible that these fish were representative of New Zealand being each island. Te Ika-a-Maui being the North Island (the head) and Murihiki (the tail) being the South Island. (Anderson).

Works Cited

Anderson, Athol. “Chapter One – Ancient Origins.” Harris, Athol Anderson Judith Binney Aroha. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Auckland: Bridget Williams Books, 2014. 30-31.