Just days before Te Matatini begins, renowned artist and arts kaiako Sandy Adsett is at the Heretaunga Campus of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, busy putting the finishing touches to the art works which adorn Kahungunu Park.
Sandy – who is coordinating all the arts on show at Kahungunu Park, along with the Napier and Hastings exhibitions - says there was never a question about being involved.
“Ngahiwi came and asked me if I’d organise that side of things, so you have no choice,” he says.
“They just come and tell you ‘you’re going to be in charge of this’ and you say fine. We work for the wānanga but we’re Kahungunu.”
Sandy set up the arts programme in Heretaunga 15 years ago and says Te Matatini provides a good reason to be involved in an arts project as a group.
“Over that time, we’ve had so many graduates and of course they’re all here. Within that team, we’re having to represent Kahungunu.”
For the Matatini site itself, Sandy says the short timeframe of the event dictated what could be achieved.
“Because it’s only going for a week, and we’ve only got a certain amount of money, we can’t be getting totara trees and doing carved pou. That’s too expensive and where we going to put it after? So everything is virtually showcasing in the best way we can.”
It promises to be a stunning showcase which will leave an indelible impression on everyone who attends, which is exactly what Ngāti Kahungunu are hoping for.
“So whether it’s fibre art, the performing arts, drama that type of work, what we’re wanting to say is that these are based on stories from here. We’re all thinking that same kaupapa, let’s create an image for our iwi that will have a recognised style.”