08 Jun 2021
Ka rere te tangi a Hineraukatauri ki a Matariki.
The sounds of the Goddess of Music soars again among Matariki.
It is with great sadness that Creative New Zealand acknowledges the passing of renowned taonga pūoro musician Richard Nunns. Richard’s efforts alongside tohunga taonga pūoro practitioners Hirini Melbourne, Rangiiria Hedley and others was critical in the revitalisation of this endangered artform.
“Māori and Pākehā taonga pūoro practitioners in the 1970s were pioneers of their time, they faced a question Aotearoa New Zealand is grappling with now, “Where do Pākehā fit in te ao Māori?” In their own way the taonga pūoro artists found their answer. It’s the beauty of the artform – they understood that everything is connected, respectful relationships were needed and as they derived from mātauranga Māori, Māori were best to lead the efforts to protect this taonga” said Creative New Zealand Chief Executive, Stephen Wainwright.
Creative New Zealand acknowledges the importance of protecting this endangered artform with a dedicated funding partnership with Haumanu through its’ Māori arts strategy, Te Hā o Ngā Toi.
“I’m sure Hirini and Richard would be pleased to see their efforts continue through this next generation of skilled taonga pūoro practitioners who are grounded in te reo and tikanga Māori and who are committed to protecting, developing and growing the artform. They are a reflection of what Richard and Hirini sought to achieve. Their work continues.” Wainwright added.
I te hāhātanga o Pipiri, i te hui huinga o Matariki - haere atu rā e Pā.
With the first breath of Winter and the rising of Matariki, we farewell thee Richard.