Combining policy research with contemporary Māori art, a landmark exhibition for the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge project, Tangaroa Ararau, will take place in Wellington this week, aiming to transform marine governance in Aotearoa.

Drawing inspiration from traditional Māori knowledge transfer methods, the three-day Uhi Tai exhibition will showcase Tangaroa Ararau’s research findings through a diverse array of toi Māori (Māori art) and encourages attendees to envision a tikanga-led, oceans-centric marine governance system.

“Since the beginning of time, our tīpuna have passed down stories and wisdom through the arts, weaving knowledge from one generation to the next,” says lead researcher Beth Tupara-Katene. 

“In sharing our research, we wanted to honour these traditional methods of knowledge transfer with Uhi Tai – a toi Māori expression of our findings.”

The exhibition features both traditional and contemporary works from Tai Kerekere, Rina Kerekere, Erena Koopu, Hiwirori Maynard, Toni Sadlier, Nick Tupara, and Tāmihana Katene, across a variety of mixed media installations including video, audio, painting, sculpture, waiata, weaving, carving, taonga pūoro, tā moko, and print media. 

The exhibition also features the premiere of a short film, directed by Madison Henry-Ryan of Māui Studios, a three-part internationally published podcast series including an episode with Melanie Nelson’s ‘Weaving our Worlds’, and a debut by the R&B/Soul trio, Tuari Brothers, of their unreleased song ‘Tangaroa Ararau’, specifically composed for the project.

Delivered by Awatea Consulting and Whāia Legal, in partnership with Te Ohu Kaimoana, the research findings explore the myriad relationships within Aotearoa New Zealand’s oceans to reimagine a tikanga-led marine governance system.

“Through our research, we want all of Aotearoa to reimagine how we view marine governance and management,” says Tupara-Katene. 

“Tangaroa Ararau, or Tangaroa of the many paths, acknowledges these many braided threads, views, and journeys that have led to this moment in time.”

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: