Appointments to Te Waka Toi

  • Marie Hasler
Cultural Affairs

Cultural Affairs Minister, Marie Hasler, today announced the appointment of two new members to Te Waka Toi, the Maori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand.

The two new appointees to the board, responsible for allocating funding to Maori arts projects, arts organisations and artists, are Kereti Rautangata of Hamilton and Olive Isaacs of Gisborne.

"A carver for over 20 years, Kereti Rautangata is highly regarded for his work in this field," Ms Hasler said. "In addition, he is a nationally recognised exponent of taiaha and is accomplished in the areas of kowhaiwhai, weaving and kapa haka.

"Mr Rautangata has tutored for many years in all of these arts and is currently sharing his extensive knowledge with a new generation of carvers, as tutor of Te Wananga o Aotearoa in Te Awamutu. I am confident Mr Rautangata's long, varied and distinguished involvement in traditional Maori arts will be of great value to Te Waka Toi."

Mr Rautangata's term of office ends on 30 June 1999.

"Olive Isaacs has a long involvement in kapa haka and is currently at the Commonwealth Games with Waihirere, the winning group from the 1998 Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Festival," Ms Hasler said.

"Mrs Isaacs has been actively involved in her community for many years, working as a tutor, social counsellor, cultural community adviser and iwi worker.

"She has shown outstanding commitment and dedication to helping others in her community and to supporting the aspirations of Maori. This commitment and dedication along with her in depth experience working with Maori to meet their cultural needs, will be of great benefit to the work of Te Waka Toi."

Mrs Isaacs' term of office will expire on 30 June 2001.

Paying tribute to retiring board member Deidre Te Maari Gardiner, Ms Hasler said, "I would like to thank Ms Gardiner for all her good work on Te Waka Toi. Her commitment to Te Waka Toi and contribution to its achievements is greatly appreciated."