Whiringa-ā-nuku ‘ 35

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The process

Questions, questions..
Taking her apart.



Red Cross Army Blanket

In Aotearoa, New Zealand these Red Cross grey army blankets were seen on Marae, our traditional Māori meeting house. Many Māori were displaced and made poor through colonization so these red blankets helped fill that basic need to keep whānau (family) and extended whānau warm.

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The left hand.


Q. What does the Statue of Liberty hold in her left arm? A. tabula ansata inscribed “July 4, 1776”, the date of the American Declaration of Independence – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty

It is only fitting that the our own date for the Declaration of Independence is to replace the American one.







United States of America’s Declaration of Independence Document

Aotearoa New Zealands Declaration of Independence















Above: ‘He Wakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tirene’ (A Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand) – an 1836 printing, made at the Anglican mission press at Paihia. The original declaration, written in longhand with rangatira signatures and moko, is held at Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kawanatanga (Ref: no.IA 9/1). National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington , (Ref: W21)














Fig 9. Above:
The English text of ‘A Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand’. From Facsimiles of the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi,Wellington, 1877, reprinted


The date of the signing of He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tirene is October 20 1835 – as it states here:


March 1834 date is this:

United Tribes’ flag

Ships needed to fly a flag of a country, but New Zealand didn’t have a national flag and a New Zealand-owned ship had been seized in Sydney for not flying a flag. In March 1834 Busby called together chiefs in Northland to decide on a flag. They were presented with three options, and the one they chose became known as the United Tribes’ flag. Busby hoped this might encourage different tribes to work together.



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United tribe flag

Found here: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/taming-the-frontier/united-tribes-flag

The mere.

The mere (Māori pronunciation: [ˈmɛrɛ]) is a type of short, broad-bladed weapon in the shape of an enlarged tear drop. It was used to strike/jab an opponent in the body or the head (it is misleading to call it a club as described by early visitors to New Zealand) (patu), usually made from Nephrite jade (Pounamu or greenstone). A mere is one of the traditional, close combat, one-handed weapons of the indigenous Māori, of New Zealand and a symbol of chieftainship.


Pare Watene in 1878 holding a mere (by Gottfried Lindauer – https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11929456


This exercise was an interesting one as I had never paid much thought to 1) the Statue of Liberty and 2) the meshing together of two (or more) cultures and the things that come from it. Once I understood and researched more I could see the diversities, complexities and appreciate that ‘mosh pit’ more closely. Cultural hybridity is not only necessary, it is fundamental in how we view ourselves and in the relationships we have with each other on a day to day basis.












Statue of Liberty image – www.pngall.com

American flag found here:


USA Declaration of Independance https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

Fig 9. http://www.treaty2u.govt.nz/maori-and-the-British/political-relationships/index.htm