October 29, 2020
Te Atiawa taonga back on display
Lower Hutt’s Dowse Art Museum today reopens the pātaka Nuku Tewhatewha to the public.
The pātaka is the only one known to be intact of seven or eight built as symbols of support for the Kiingitanga.
Catherine Love, whose tupuna Wiremu Tako Ngātata the paramount chief of Te Ātiawa commissioned it in 1856, says it stands as a tangible symbol of the Māori struggle for freedom and equality.
The pātaka was cared for by the Beetham family, including being transferred to their farm in Wairarapa, and was returned to Te Awa Kairangi Hutt Valley in 1982.
Dowse director Karl Chitham says the newly refurbished gallery offers a new way to experience Nuku Tewhatewha and his unique history.
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