06 Jun 2024

This content is tagged as Creative NZ .


New Zealand Delegation – FestPAC 2024
New Zealand Delegation – FestPAC 2024

The New Zealand delegation will make a powerful statement of solidarity and cultural pride at the official opening of the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture in Hawai'i on June 6. 

For the first time in the event’s 50-year history, Hawai'i will host the largest gathering of Pacific Islanders, bringing together artists, cultural practitioners, scholars, and officials from 28 Pacific countries and territories.

The 100-strong New Zealand delegation will enter the Stan Sheriff Centre, each member holding a fabricated hoe, aligning with their theme ‘Taku Hoe’. 

Tawera Tahuri – Creative New Zealand, Creative Director – FestPAC 2024
Tawera Tahuri – Creative New Zealand, Creative Director – FestPAC 2024 with Erena Koopu and  Makarini Soloman. 

This theme, envisioned by the delegation’s Creative Director, Tawera Tahuri, emphasises unity and impact. “En masse, I wanted it to be about impact and solidarity – the hoe replicates the values and tikanga of kaihoe waka, working as one,” explains Tawera.

The story of Taku Hoe is etched in New Zealand’s cultural history. It traces back to the journey on the Horouta waka to Hawaiki to retrieve the kumara and bring them to Aotearoa. Tawera explains the significance of the six karakia used by tohunga Te Rangitūroua during this voyage. Each hoe represents its purpose when dealing with the different weather conditions, swells, and currents faced during the journey.

She wanted to ensure the story included the entire delegation from a Pacific point of view, “The Taku Hoe theme is a reminder of the challenges faced, potentially symbolising life’s challenges, challenges as indigenous people, and the importance of adapting and finding a way forward. We need to be able to pivot, get on with things, find solutions, and navigate through challenges.”

The hoe are painted black, white, and red inspired by the Tino rangatiratanga flag - she acknowledges the original designers and the last survivor of the Tino design, Lisa Munn. 

The 100 hoe were mass-produced with the support of Creative New Zealand and fellow artists Erena Koopu and Makarini Soloman.

These paddles will play a significant role in the opening and closing ceremonies. The New Zealand delegation intends to gift the hoe as tāonga to the Kānaka Maoli, in thanks for their manaakitanga.