In a unique blend of policy research and contemporary Māori art, a landmark exhibition showcasing Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge project, Tangaroa Ararau, will open its doors next week to redefine marine governance in Aotearoa.

Inspired by traditional Māori knowledge transfer methods, the three-day Uhi Tai exhibition will present Tangaroa Ararau’s research findings through a diverse range of toi Māori (Māori art), encouraging attendees to reimagine an oceans-centric marine governance system that is tikanga-led.

“We want to move the hearts and minds of all New Zealanders to reconsider how we view marine governance and management in Aotearoa,” says lead researcher, Beth Tupara-Katene.

“Uhi Tai is a toi-Māori expression of our research findings and explores the myriad of relationships within Aotearoa New Zealand’s oceans economy, reimagining a marine governance system that places Tangaroa at its heart.” 

Curated by Tai and Rina Kerekere of KE Design, the exhibition features both traditional and contemporary works from six Māori artists across a variety of mediums including film, audio, print, paint, sculpture, waiata, weaving, carving, taonga pūoro, and tā moko. 

To synthesise the learning, a series of panel discussions and live demonstrations will be presented alongside the exhibition to deepen the understanding of the project’s key themes and provide a platform for wider discussion and interactive learning. 

“Uhi Tai refers to the ascending tides of Tangaroa, an often-heard phrase in waiata, karakia, and haka. Uhi Tai symbolises the oncoming tides of new perspectives capturing our diverse and complex relationships with the ocean, washing over the entrenched worldview that shaped Aotearoa’s incumbent approach to the ocean so far.”

“Built upon a foundation of tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Uhi Tai encourages curiosity, and provides space to reimagine our status quo – essentially it is a call to action to reshape our approach to the ocean in a uniquely Aotearoa way.”

The free exhibition will run from 19-21 June and is open daily from 8 am – 4 pm. For more details or to view the programme, visit: