Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira is a new exhibition opening at Te Papa on 14 June 2014. The exhibition has been produced in collaboration with the upcoming iwi-in-residence, Ngti Toa Rangatira.

Hall, R, fl 1840s. Hall, R., fl 1840s :Te Raparaha, chief of the Kawias. [After 1843]. Ref: A-114-047. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Hall, R, fl 1840s. Hall, R., fl 1840s :Te Raparaha, chief of the Kawias. [After 1843]. Ref: A-114-047. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Highlights of the exhibition will include several significant taonga that speak to some of the key tūpuna and history of Ngāti Toa; an interactive map that allows the viewer to learn about Ngāti Toa’s tumultuous migration from Kāwhia to the Wellington region; and a multimedia presentation of the Ngāti Toa ‘Ka Mate’ haka.

Awhina Tamarapa, Curator Textiles, Weaving & Māori Instruments at Te Papa and Lead Curator for Whiti Te Rā, shares her experience of working on the exhibition:

“On behalf of the Te Papa exhibition team, it has been a great privilege to have worked closely with the members of the Ngāti Toa iwi reference group and their iwi to support their ideas and vision for this exhibition. One of the important aspects that we hope visitors will appreciate is that Ngāti Toa hold a mana whenua status as a local iwi with a rich and proud history. They are a people who have overcome great challenges through history and they continue to sustain their cultural identity into the future.”

“Their tenacity, foresight, strategic vision and determination are inspiring for all cultures. We hope all visitors will see that the exhibition is about Ngāti Toa Rangatira acknowledging their histories, reflecting on their ancestors and sharing their stories. It is also an exhibition that celebrates who they are today moving into the future. The exhibition’s point of difference is the use of audiovisuals developed with talented iwi members and significant taonga-a-iwi held by Te Papa and within the iwi. We hope that people, no matter where they are from, will be inspired, feel uplifted and appreciate Ngāti Toa and Māori culture from this exhibition.”