Story: Whakairo – Māori carving

Rongopai meeting house

Rongopai meeting house

Rongopai (which means 'good news') is the meeting house for Rongopai marae at Waituhi, Poverty Bay. It was built hastily in 1888 by young followers of prophet and military leader Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Tūruki, to welcome him to their district. They departed dramatically from traditional styles and techniques, as they painted, rather than carved, the house, and their designs were influenced by European styles, colours and images. In the 2000s the house is seen as an exuberant example of Māori artwork in a time of turmoil and transition.

Using this item

Tairawhiti Museum, Te Whare Taonga O Te Tairawhiti
Reference: 017.1-33(ii)

Permission of Tairawhiti Museum, PO Box 716, Gisborne, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Brett Graham, 'Whakairo – Māori carving - Carving, 19th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 May 2022)

Story by Brett Graham, published 22 Oct 2014