School programme

HERE: Kupe to Cook

11 August – 24 November 2019

Years 1-13. 90 min

Free for Porirua schools or $2 per child per programme.

Make voyaging waka models out of driftwood. 

About the exhibition

Pātaka marks 250 years since Captain Cook’s arrival in Aotearoa with an exhibition exploring the voyagers who were first to come here—Māori, Polynesian and European navigators. Taking over four of the main galleries, HERE features works by leading contemporary artists, including Dame Robin White, John Walsh, Greg Semu, Christine Hellyar, Rachael Rakena and Johnson Witehira. Their artworks reference the long and varied histories of South Pacific voyages—from Kupe to Cook.

About the programme

We will explore 1000 years of Pacific voyaging and navigation and the encounters between two great voyaging traditions and cultures in Aotearoa. The ancient knowledge of Polynesian navigating, by using the stars, sky and nature, has been used in recent times for ocean-voyaging in double-hulled waka and documentaries made about these voyages, as well as the movie Moana, has brought these skills to public attention. We will explore the amazing feats of long distance ocean-voyaging and the reasons why people ventured across the world’s greatest ocean to Aotearoa. Students will view the different perspectives and responses of how past arrivals and encounters are being remembered by contemporary artists. In the work room students will construct voyaging waka models out of driftwood. The exhibition title can also be read for its Te Reo meaning of ‘a place to bind your waka’.

Curriculum Links

The Arts, Visual Arts: Students will explore, describe and share the ideas and meanings communicated by their own and others’ objects and images CI [L1-4]. Students will investigate the purpose of objects and images from past and present cultures and identify the contexts in which they were or are made, viewed and valued UC.

Social Sciences: Students will gain knowledge, skills and experience to understand how early Polynesian and British migrations to New Zealand have continuing significance for tangata whenua and communities [L3]. Students will gain knowledge to understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people, places and environments [L4]. Students will gain knowledge to understand how people’s perspectives on past events that are of significance to New Zealanders differ [L6].

Pre and Post visit ideas

  • Watch the movie Moana to see what navigational techniques were used on their ocean voyages.
  • Find on a map of the Pacific Ocean where the Polynesian Triangle is located – with Hawai’i to the north, Easter Island (Rapanui) to the East and New Zealand (Aotearoa) to the South. What Island Nations are contained within that triangle?
  • Locate on a map the Pacific Nations/Islands found in Melanesia and Micronesia.
  • Research the legendary homeland called Hawaiiki across the Pacific.
  • Search for information on Pacific Migrations using the Te Ara website.
  • Locate places/place names around Aotearoa associated with the Polynesian explorer Kupe.
  • Discover what stars were/are considered the most widely used navigational pointers over the Pacific.
  • Create a display wall of the different types and functions of waka/vaka used throughout the Pacific.
  • Read some of the legends surrounding hero and demi-god Polynesian explorers (Maui etc).
  • Construct a timeline of the amazing feats of migration by Polynesian ancestors – stretching back more than 6000 years ago from South East Asia to Eastern Polynesia.
  • Imagine all the adventures, fears and wonders faced on those early voyages and write a story about why you were forced to leave your island home and how you ventured across unknown seas beyond the horizon.

Contact us

Email or phone (04) 237 3551 if you'd like us to tailor a programme to meet your learning goals.

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