New view for tukutuku

Kaokao (variation 2), currently on loan to Christchurch Art Gallery

If you happen to visit the Christchurch Art Gallery in the next few months you’ll see a piece of Christchurch City Libraries on display.

Ten of the library’s tukutuku panels are on temporary loan as part of an exhibition put together by assistant curator Nathan Pohio called ‘Moroki‘. This word refers to something with an ongoing nature and expresses continuity. In this instance the focus is on historic and contemporary Māori artworks that offer insight into the relationships between Māori art and architecture, and is part of a wider exhibition highlighting 19th and 20th century New Zealand art currently on display at the art gallery.

This is not the first time the tukutuku panels have had a temporary change of home.

Created in 2001 as part of a community art project led by Ngā Puna Waihanga, 19 tukutuku panels were installed in Ngā Pounamu Māori, the Māori resource area on the 2nd floor of the Central Library in 2002. 

After the library building was damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes the panels were removed and eventually distributed to a number of libraries around the network. The tukutuku panels currently on loan to the art gallery were previously housed at the Linwood and Aranui libraries. When Tūranga, the new central library building currently under construction in Cathedral Square, opens the tukutuku panels will again be brought together and displayed with the Māori collection.

Tukutuku panels
Tukutuku panels on display in Ngā Pounamu Māori, Central Library, 26 July 2002. Flickr CE-Refurb-MaoriPanels

The ten tukutuku panels currently on display at the art gallery sit across from paintings of Māori architecture and carvings, and the colours, shapes and designs on the panels really have an opportunity to shine when placed alongside other artworks.

If you want to know more about how, why and by whom the library’s tukutuku panels were created check out our Puāwaitanga o te Ringa – Fruits of our busy hands resource for photos of the panels along with explanations of the different designs and their meanings.

Victoria Square reopens – Friday 9 March 2018

Today Victoria Square has reopened. It has been closed for a year, having a revamp and repairs.

What’s new:

  • New pieces of art have been added including Ngā Whāriki Manaaki – Woven mats of welcome, and a Literary Trail (series of text sculptures).
  • The Bowker Fountain will be working again and will put on a water and light display.

Here’s what Victoria Square looked like this morning:

Find out more about Victoria Square

Big little books – The BWB Texts Collection

The last book I got out of the library was huge a whopping 800 pages. It was a little daunting and I wondered it would be easier to read if it was a series of smaller books. Bridget Williams has a great series of little books called the BWB Texts Collection. There are some seriously good reads in this collection and all of them are short. There are some great short memoirs, and other interesting topics like combining motherhood and politics, and the Australia vs New Zealand debate.

BWB Texts are available in book and eBook format.

There are even big little books with local flavour. With the seventh anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake coming up, there are some great books on Christchurch and analysis of the earthquake – or find out why Christchurch was once nicknamed Cyclopolis.

As well as the BWB Texts Collection. Bridget Williams Books has these other great New Zealand eBook collections:

Kōmako: Reclaiming the Māori literary tradition

I’ve discovered a new online tool that I want to tell you about.

Kōmako is an online bibliography of writing by Māori in English, which has grown out of research undertaken by Bridget Underhill at the University of Canterbury. Kōmako lists Māori writing from over the past 180 years, gathers it in one place and makes it publicly accessible. This is extremely helpful for research purposes and gives visibility to some amazing works by both well-known and lesser-known Māori authors.

Kōmako utilizes the wonders of modern technology for the searcher – I can type in my iwi and be returned with a list of available writing on my iwi or I can type in my last name and see a list of my Aunty’s poetry. Anybody accessing this resource can search by author, title or iwi to find fiction, non-fiction or even music by Māori writers to go off and try to find at their local library.

Māori writers are one of my favourite things to talk about and here at Christchurch City Libraries we have a fantastic Ngā Pounamu Māori collection which covers a wide range of topics produced by a variety of sources. While they all have their individual merits Māori authors can give us an insider’s view on Te Ao Māori, which is both valuable and necessary to our understanding of a given topic: we would not ask a lawyer what it’s like to be a doctor, we would ask a doctor. As such the cultural insight provided by the Māori writers listed on Kōmako is a taonga, something to be both cherished and celebrated.

While we’re on the topic, check out some my favourite resources by Māori authors held at Christchurch City Libraries:

Find out more

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi, 1840

Waitangi Day is coming up so why not find out more about the Treaty of Waitangi? The Treaty of Waitangi Collection is an amazing resource. It has all the essential content for learning about the history of the Treaty and its relevance today. The collection is indexed by place and iwi so you can explore the history of the Treaty by your iwi or by your area. Bridget Williams Books and Christchurch City Libraries have provided this fact sheet on Treaty of Waitangi in the Canterbury region. This includes facts like:

Tī ovens (umu-tī) that date from the thirteenth century have been found in South Canterbury. These ovens were used to cook the roots and lower stems of young cabbage trees.
Read more about pre- European archaeology in chapter three of Tangata Whenua in the Treaty of Waitangi Collection.

By 1800, an estimated 20,000 people lived in the tribal area of Ngāi Tahu. This population spread from Kaikōura on the east coast and Tai Poutini on the west all the way down to Rakiura (Stewart Island) and other southern islands.
Read more about Ngāi Tahu in chapter one of New Myths and Old Politics in the Treaty of Waitangi Collection.

eBook titles in the Treaty of Waitangi Collection include:

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi 1840

This eBook has reproductions of the nine sheets of the Treaty of Waitangi, comprising of the original document first signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840 and eight copies. It also provides information about the sheets, and a map, and information about where the Treaty was signed. This title also includes some short biographies of many of the signatories, which show the range of people who signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

He Whakaputanga/The Declaration of Independence, 1835

He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni – known in English as the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand – is a constitutional document of historical and cultural significance. It was signed first by a group of powerful Northern chiefs at British Resident James Busby’s house at Waitangi. Also included in this title are some short biographies of some of the signatories.

The Treaty of Waitangi by Claudia Orange

Claudia Orange has produced several works on the Treaty of Waitangi including this award-winning title published in 1987. Other Treaty titles by Claudia Orange available in the BWB Treaty of Waitangi Collection include The Story of a Treaty; An illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi; What Happened at Waitangi?

Stories without End: Essays 1975-2010 by Judith Binney

This is just one of Judith Binney’s books that is available on the Treaty of Waitangi, she is regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading scholars on the subject. This book is a selection of essays that explore sidepaths and previously unexamined histories. They notably delve into the lives of powerful early Māori figures, including the prophets Rua Kenana and Te Kooti, their wives and their descendants, and the leaders of the Urewera.

More about Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Waitangi Day in Christchurch and Canterbury – Tuesday 6 February 2018

Find out about Waitangi Day celebrations and events for 2018:

Rapaki Marae citizenship ceremony
6 February 2014. Rapaki Marae citizenship ceremony. Photo supplied by Christchurch City Council. Flickr 2014-02-06-Citizenship6Feb2014PR-0103

Ngāi Tahu Treaty Festival Te Rau Aroha Marae, Bluff

Every year Ngāi Tahu commemorates Waitangi Day at one of three locations where the iwi signed the Treaty — Awarua, Ōtākou and Ōnuku. In 2018, the Ngāi Tahu Treaty Festival is hosted by Te Rūnaka o Awarua at Te Rau Aroha Marae.

Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum 1146 Main Road, Okains Bay

On Tuesday 6 February, the Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum has its 43rd annual family day to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Highlights include a pōwhiri (traditional welcome), hāngī lunch, children’s races, construction of sand volcanoes, and the paddling of our magnificent waka on the Ōpara River at 9:30am. View the Museum’s amazing collections and enjoy continuous demonstrations all day including bread baking in a traditional clay oven, master weavers, working blacksmith and print shop. Crafts, stalls, lolly scramble, sausage sizzle, espresso coffee, garden bar, cafeteria and more!

Entrance Adults $10, Children $2. Please bring cash. No ATM available.
Gates open at 8:30am. Waka paddling at 9:30am. Pōwhiri (traditional welcome) commences at 10:30am.
Please phone the Okains Bay Museum for more details. 03 304 8611.

Download Waitangi Day events at Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum [378KB PDF].

Waitangi Day celebrations at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

Commemorate Waitangi Day at the Christchurch Art Gallery:

Construction with artist Peter Trevelyan

Head to the Gallery on Waitangi Day to help create a giant interactive three-dimensional artwork with New Zealand artist Peter Trevelyan.

Weaving workshop

A special adults-only weaving workshop for Waitangi Day. $15 per person, booking required.

LEGO workshop for kids

$5 per child, sessions at 11am, 1pm, and 2.30pm. Bookings required.

CoCa – Centre of Contemporary Art

Workshop: Kai & Kōrero: Te Tiriti o Waitangi 12pm

Artist Isla Reeves will facilitate a Waitangi Day discussion in conjunction with CoCA. This event has been formed so as to honour the significance of what Waitangi Day means to the young, indigenous members of the Ōtautahi arts communities.With a line up of performers, writers, artists and musicians, we will be discussing the value of Te Tiriti to our society, how this resonates with our individual views of Te Ao Maori within our art, and in turn, how this registers within a Pakeha context. Subscribe to the Facebook event. You’re invited to join us from 12 noon for shared kai and kōrero.

Eating the Earth: Spoken Word Workshop with RikTheMost 2pm

Come spend Waitangi afternoon at CoCA for a spoken word workshop with UK powerhouse of poetry, RikTheMost! $10 per person. Fees help CoCA to pay the facilitators, but in the interests of accessibility, a cash Koha of your choice is an option .Book ticket.

I love New Brighton Thomson Park, Marine Parade, New Brighton 11am to 3pm

The “I Love New Brighton” Annual Event is a local festival day that celebrates New Brighton. The 2018 event is again on Waitangi Day at Thomson Park, Marine Parade from 11am to 3pm. Lots of free activities, have-a-go sports, market stalls, food stalls, bouncy castles, face painting, games and a LIVE stage featuring local bands. Subscribe to the I love New Brighton event on Facebook.

Kaiapoi Waitangi Day Family Celebration Event Troussellot Park, Kaiapoi 10am to 2pm

Kaiapoi’s Annual Waitangi Day family celebration event is on again at Trousselot Park, Kaiapoi. Activities include: Music, Entertainment, Food Stalls, Market Stalls and Waitangi Day Quiz with great prizes up for grabs.

  • Free Bouncy Castle
  • Face Painting
  • Bubble Balls
  • Pony Rides
  • Sport Suzy Performing

Hangi meals being sold by Kaiapoi High School as a fundraiser for their Kapa Haka group.

Waitangi Community Fun Day Darfield Domain 10am to 2pm

Bouncy castles, Pedalmania, face painting Faeries, pony rides, Lego building, Darfield Library storytimes and activities, live music, balloon twisting acrobatic clown entertainment, plenty of interactive activities from circus skills, art, and community services, and fun games. Farmer’s Market produce and craft stalls. There will be a variety of food and drink to purchase, or bring your own picnic to enjoy. Subscribe to the Facebook event.

Find out more

Waka launch, Waitangi Day, Okain’s Bay
Waka launch, Waitangi Day, Okain’s Bay, 6 February 1977 Flickr: HWC08-SO10

Moriori artifacts : weapons, implements and god (a figure of the Moriori god Hatitimatangi): Picturing Canterbury

Moriori artifacts : weapons, implements and god (a figure of the Moriori god Hatitimatangi). File Reference CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0069.

Moriori artifacts : weapons, implements and god (a figure of the Moriori god Hatitimatangi).
[ca. 1877].

Prior to the 1980s the Chatham Islands were part of the Lyttelton general electorate.

Do you have any photographs of the Chatham Islands? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Christchurch Photo Hunt 2017 – The winners

Christchurch Photo Hunt poster 2017Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way was the theme for 2017.

This year we had some excellent individual photographs and collections submitted telling wonderful stories of people, family and Christchurch. Thank you so much for sharing your memories and contributing to our photographic history.

This year’s judges were Sarah Snelling the Digital Curation Librarian and Masha Oliver, Information Librarian at Central Manchester Library joined by Jacqui Stewart from the Kete Christchurch Team. They met on 27 November to decide on the winners in the categories of Places – Your landmarks in time, Your People – How we lived, and an overall winner.

All category winners and highly commended entries win a book prize.

This year’s entries

Photographs date from 1913 to October 2017 and it has been a great to receive so many photographs from the 1960s, 70s and 1980s. Of note is the collection of photographs from Cynthia Roberts. These photos document women involved in the Christchurch Women’s Resource Centre in the 1970s.

The judges noted that this year the photos reflected Christchurch’s social history, depicting everything from anti-nuclear awareness and anti-mining protesting to Cantabrians at work and play. We also see buildings and landscapes that have been lost due to development and earthquakes.

Several entries are recent photographs beautifully highlighting the magnificent landscape we live in.

Overall winner

Rehua Marae, 1980. Cynthia Roberts. 

Rehua Marae, 1980
Hui at Rehua Marae. Carolyn with pram, 1980. Rehua Marae by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This image was awarded the overall winner for multiple reasons. One of the judges commented that so much was being told by the photograph it has an almost illustrative quality to it. A strong composition is balanced by the people in the foreground.  This photograph was taken in 1980 and shows Māori, Pākehā, a family group and people of different age groups. The woman with the pram and suitcase fits in with the “finding our way” theme. The image shows people in places and a sense of community spirit.

This photograph is part of a wider collection that Cynthia submitted focusing on people in the 1970s and 1980s. Our digital heritage collection has really been enhanced by Cynthia’s photographs.



Group by Lyttelton Harbour, 1948. Doug Bovett.

Group by Lyttelton Harbour
Group by Lyttelton Harbour by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

Doug’s image is part of a wider collection of twelve photographs taken by his mother in the late 1940s. The collection shows pictures of a group of friends that caught the daily train from Rangiora to Papanui High School and went tramping and socialised together, showing what young people did in their leisure time.

The judges fell in love with the images of young women enjoying themselves and living life in post WWII Christchurch.

It was noted that this photograph has a feeling of a modern selfie and that really not much changes in 69 years. Teenagers still hang out and take photos of themselves. It was also commented that the clothing was not the active wear and shoes we wear now but everyday clothes, maybe even school uniform.

This collection continued the story of a photograph on Kete Christchurch that we published as a post card for this year’s Photo Hunt. Doug’s collection has told more of that story.

People – Highly commended

Making a Yogi Bear Snowman in the evening, 1976. June Hunt.

Making a Yogi Bear Snowman in the evening
Making a Yogi Bear Snowman in the evening by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ

June Hunt’s photograph of the snowman was highly commended as this photo and her other submissions show her story and everyday family life in 1970s Christchurch. The excitement of the first snow, the clothes people wore and what people did in their leisure time.

Masons preparing stone for the Memorial Church Tai Tapu, 1930s. Bryan Bates.

Masons preparing stone for the Memorial Church Tai Tapu
Masons preparing stone for the Memorial Church Tai Tapu by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ license

This photograph was judged as highly commended as it tells such a lot about what was happening in post-WWI New Zealand. We can see what men wore to work – craftsmen doing a trade that may have been in its decline. The depiction of stonemasons working on stone to build a church when so many of our stone churches has gone after the earthquakes is also significant.

Leader of the band, 1913. Name withheld

Leader of the band, 1913
Leader of the band by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This photograph is one of the oldest we received this year. It shows Fredrick Wilson the leader of the Stanmore Brass band in 1913.  The Wilson family ran the tearooms at the Sign of the Bellbird and Fredrick also helped Harry Ell build the walking tracks.

The image shows what people did in their leisure time and a bygone era when nearly every suburb had a brass band.

Charlotte on a motorbike. 1923. L Sullivan.

Charlotte on a motorbike, ca. 1923
Charlotte on a motorbike. by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

Charlotte is 18 years old and dressed in her boyfriend’s clothes riding his motorbike that she liked riding fast. The photograph was awarded a highly commended. It shows an adventurous young woman who had a long life in Christchurch. She travelled throughout Canterbury on the back of her boyfriend’s bike, “finding their way”.

This photograph continues the theme of many of this year’s submissions, strong women enjoying life in Christchurch.


The images in this category included landscapes, images of Banks Peninsula, interiors and buildings.


Rugby match at Lancaster Park. 1960. Des Pinn

Rugby Match at Lancaster Park
Rugby Match at Lancaster Park. by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This image was chosen for several reasons. It shows a crowd at a rugby game at Lancaster Park – they may be leaving after a game. Socially it reminds us of what many people did regularly on a Saturday afternoon, what people wore and what people did in their leisure time.

A judge also commented that it feels like the crowd escapes the photo.

Places – Highly commended

Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Co. Ltd, 1979. Alan Tunnicliffe.

Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Co. Ltd
Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Co.Ltd by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This photograph was taken in 1979. We have very few photos of the city at this time and the photograph shows a lost city scape, specifically the east side of Manchester Street between Allen and Eaton Streets.

Shag Rock, Sumner Beach, 2009. Phil Le Cren

Shag Rock, Sumner Beach, 2009
Shag Rock, Sumner Beach, 2009 by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

An image of iconic Sumner at sunset. Taken in 2009 the landscape was dramatically altered by the earthquakes.

Men’s Toiletries Department at Hays, 1960. Des Pinn.

Men's Toiletries Department at Hays.
Men’s Toiletries Department at Hays. by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This a unique image as it shows the interior of a shop in 1960, and it shows a display introducing Old Spice.

Totara tree, 1995. Merle Conaghan.

Totara tree
Totara tree by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

Merle’s photographs taken while out on Banks Peninsula with her walking group have added greatly to our collection. She highlights the varied landscape found on Banks Peninsula, from the coast to the rugged hills.

The Totara tree looks like a sign pointing in several ways tying in nicely with the “finding our way” theme.

We welcome submissions of photos, information and stories to Kete Christchurch at any time.

The Māori Church at Taumutu, With Members of the Māori and European Congregation: Picturing Canterbury

The Māori Church at Taumutu, With Members of the Māori and European Congregation (1899). File Reference Selwyn photograph 7030165.

The Māori Church at Taumutu, with members of the Māori and European congregation. The Rev. Philip J. Cocks from Southbridge, the Rev. H. E. Ensor from Leeston, and the Rev. C. Griffin, the Wesleyan minister at Leeston, all hold periodical services in this church, which is largely attended by the fishermen from Taumutu Point. The Māori girls receive special teaching in the English language.

The church (Hone Wetere Church) was built for the Māori on the site of Te Rauhikihiki’s pā at Taumutu and was opened on Easter Tuesday, 7th April 1885 by the Reverend W. Rowse assisted by Te Koti Te Rato. The Hon. H. K. Taiaroa, Ngāi Tahu chief, Legislative Councillor and Member of Parliament was the prime mover for a church at Taumutu and through his efforts raised all the funds required to build a church and it opened debt free. The church was designed by the architect, T. S. Lambert and built by the German, Herman, who also built Awhitu House for H. K. Taiaroa.Two services were held on the opening day and during the evening service a document was read stating that the building was to be named John Wesley Church and was to be given to the Wesleyan Conference of New Zealand together with the 21/2 acres on which the church was standing.

A. C. Mills, Christchurch (photographer).

Source: The Weekly Press, 19 July 1899, p. 5.

Do you have any photographs of Hone Wetere church? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Hui-ā-iwi and the 20th anniversary of the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement

Today at Tuahiwi Marae, Ngāi Tūāhuriri are hosting the biennial festival Hui-ā-Iwi 2017, and Ngāi Tahu are coming together to reconnect and celebrate. Live streaming of Hui-ā-Iwi will begin with the pōwhiri at 12pm today (Friday 24 November).

2017 is a significant year. Twenty years ago – on 21 November 1997 – Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Crown signed the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement at Takahanga Marae in Kaikōura. This was followed by the passing of the Ngāi Tahu Claim Settlement Act into law 29 September 1998. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu reports: “The Deed was signed by then Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere, Charlie Crofts, and the then Prime Minister Jim Bolger.”

Here is some video footage of that important day:

Kōrero on Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu website highlights what the settlement meant to Ngāi Tahu whānau.

Te Kerēme

Te Kerēme is a selective index to the Ngāi Tahu claim. It provides volume and page number references to material from the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board Claim before the Waitangi Tribunal which is held in the Ngā Pounamu Māori Centre at Central Library Manchester. Material indexed includes: iwi, hapū, marae, individual people, organisations, places and events.

Find out more