Te Whakaaturanga o Te Aro Pā

Artistic projections on video screens at 115 Manners Street, next to the Opera House, celebrate the rich heritage around Te Aro Pā and the iwi who connect to the surrounding whenua.


Te Whakaaturanga o Te Aro Pā is a Council creative collaboration and partnership with the Design School of Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington.

Digital designer David Hakaraia (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Pāoa), a senior Māori lecturer at Victoria University Te Herenga Waka and Deputy Head of School, is curating the first twelve months of the video programme, in collaboration with Toa Waaka (Ngāti Toa, Te Āti Awa, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Porou, and Ngāti Koata) as mana whenua advisor on pūrākau (Māori myths/ legends).

The digital works will be changed four times a year.

Current work

Heke ki Ponekeneke

Still from animation work

Āhea | When 8 Sept 2023 - Jan 2024
Ki hea | Where 115 Manners Street | View on Google Maps
Te utu | Cost Free

The latest animation “Heke ki Ponekeneke” by artists Tom Trengrove and David Hakaraia (Ngati Paoa & Ngapuhi) is based on the pūrākau (Māori myths and legends) retold by Toa Waaka.

It shows the story of Ngāti Toa, Te Āti Awa, and their allies, on their migration down to Te Whanganui-a-Tara, and the series of battles that reshaped the region's power dynamics.

The story begins with Te Rauparaha's quest to secure Kapiti Island. Te Pēhi Kupe ultimately leads the charge, solidifying Ngāti Toa's stronghold on Kapiti. However, the battles culminate in the epic Battle of Waiorua, where the sheer number of invaders almost bridges the gap between Kapiti and the mainland.

Ngāti Toa's strategic prowess, unity, and determination ultimately triumph, securing their position in the region.

This historical account highlights the resilience and strategic brilliance of these indigenous tribes, forging a legacy that continues to shape the identity of the region now known as Pōneke (Wellington).

The rich cultural history, marked by both conflict and cooperation, lays the foundation for the enduring connection between the indigenous people and the land they call home.

Past projects

  • Tanya Te Miringa Te Rorarangi Ruka (Ngati Pakau, Ngapuhi) – Waimapihi (2023), Aue te Manuhiri (2022)
  • David Hakaraia, Tom Trengrove - Whai Repo (2023)