Skip Content
Johnny Moetara

Taika Waititi said at the Oscars that indigenous people are “the original story tellers” and Johnny Moetara loves nothing more than giving people the skills to tell those stories through art.

Johnny teaches the Level 4 Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Arts programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Gisborne and says art is a fantastic medium for storytellers.

“You can say what you’ve got to say through the medium of visual arts,” he says.

“The way we tell stories is unique to us and we all have unique stories to tell.”

The 38-week course is at an introductory level and students explore a range of artistic mediums.

“It’s a mixed-media offering of drawing, painting, print making, relief work, there’s a wide range of art mediums you can try.”

He says the course is ideal for those still learning about different art mediums before specialising in one.

“We get tauira who have already learnt their own style to others who have never touched art before but are interested, or not touched art since school. A lot of non-Maori come to learn more about the area,” he says.

He says many students use art as a way of exploring their own identity.

“A lot of people don’t know who they are and are interested in learning about themselves but are sometimes too whakamā to ask, or they’re separated from their whānau, all that stuff is part of their story and we provide a safe space to explore ourselves and our stories.”

“If I have 20 tauira (students), I’ll get 20 different perspectives on any particular kaupapa. It’s awesome, we’re all so different.”

The course is noho-based, held over 10 weekends throughout the year with evening tutorials held during the week, which enable people to attend after work.

And there’s no need to have an artistic background to enrol.

“You just need a story to tell.”

For more information on the Level 4 Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Arts contact 0800 355 553 or visit www.twoa.ac.nz

 Back to news & events

Published On: 25 February, 2020

Article By: Tracey Cooper



Other Articles

  • Māori business accelerator announces 2020 cohort

    Kōkiri is pleased to announce the successful Māori-led start-ups invited to participate in the 2020 programme. Nine technology-focused start-ups from a wide range of industries such as legal services, digital language learning, agri-tech and power generation make up the new cohort.

  • 19 March, 2020

    Important updates on COVID-19 response

    The health and safety of our tauira and their whānau are paramount for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. We're taking all necessary precautions in our wānanga to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • 13 March, 2020

    Ancient Māori methods for new fitness coaching programme

    The way of the warrior involved tests of fitness, agility and mental sharpness. And now these traditional methods Māori used to maintain their health and wellbeing are being offered as a pathway into the fitness coaching industry.

  • 13 March, 2020

    Mātauranga Māori and western science a winning combination

    Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and science have combined to help restore kaimoana stocks in Ōhiwa Harbour.