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

  • 25 January, 2021

    Wānanga returns to Taumarunui with te reo and arts courses

    Local demand for te reo Māori learning has seen Te Wānanga o Aotearoa re-introduce classes to Taumarunui this year.

  • 22 January, 2021

    New forestry course offered in Tokoroa

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Ashworth St, Tokoroa, is offering up to 20 places on a new NZ Certificate in Forest Industry Foundation Skills (establishment and pruning).

  • 20 January, 2021

    Waka ama is about whānau, says Karmen

    The biggest buzz for Karmen Wallace at this year’s waka ama nationals is that a mokopuna has been competing in the midgets’ section, making them the third generation of her family to take part.

  • 20 January, 2021

    Be wise and sanitise at waka ama champs

    Combatting the potential spread of COVID-19 has been front and centre at this week’s Te Wānanga o Aotearoa National Waka Ama Sprint Championships at Karapiro.