This morning Te Papa farewelled the exhibition of tukutuku panels which are to be installed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York early next year.
The woven panels, which have been on display at Te Papa since July, were commissioned by former Minister of Māori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples following his visit to the UN in 2010 and created by 60 talented weavers from around the country.
The panels depict a mix of traditional and contemporary designs and have drawn thousands of visitors during their time on display at Te Papa.
“Over the past three months we’ve been privileged and honoured to show these taongataonga treasures Māori | Noun | listen (treasures) to the nation,” Te Papa’s Acting Chief Executive and Kaihautū Arapata Hakiwai says.
Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell says the panels are a powerful statement to the world about New Zealand. “While we are accustomed to tukutuku in our whare tūpuna (meeting houses) back home, these gifts will soon adorn a global meeting house. Their visibility in an international forum; and our recent successful selection to the Security Council; puts us at the heart of the UN.”
Te Papa would like to thank the talented weavers from Te Rōpū Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa (National Collective of Māori Weavers), Te Puni Kōkiri (the Ministry for Māori Development), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their collaborative effort in creating, assembling and exhibiting the panels.