Te Kopuni Kura

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Art Collection

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In 1985 a carved wharenui rose from a rural community college in Te Awamutu. Named after the original pā site of O-Tāwhao, the wharenui became a vehicle that bridged cultural gaps and encouraged a new wave of education through the universal language of art.

Māori art forms became the financial backbone of the organisation that became Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Founding programmes such as whakairo and raranga played an instrumental role in building the organisation and have become an intrinsic part of Wānanga memory.

Through the language of Toi, an identity was born and a distinctive character was developed, creating a unique Māori environment that is part of the Wānanga experience. Today, the Māori art collection at the Wānanga is one of the largest and most comprehensive in Aotearoa and has become a visual whakapapa that represents innovative thinking and mātauranga Māori.

The collection - Te Kōpuni Kura - is a body of more than 1000 art works that tell the stories of our times, our tauira, our visionaries and our people.

Margaret Aull

Te Poutiaki Toi – Art Collection Curator

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