Kura Te Waru-Rewiri

Ngā Puhi

1950 -

Kura Te Waru Rewiri was born at Kaeo, Tai Tokerau, and grew up in Waitangi. She attended Northland College and Bay of Islands College before completing a Diploma in Fine Arts (Hons) at the Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury. She trained as a teacher at Christchurch Teachers’ College in 1974 and spent the next ten years teaching at Tamaki College, Te Kuiti High School, Western Heights High School, and Tangaroa College. In 1987 Kura was Chairperson of the Board of Governors at Tangaroa College, and in 1988 served as a committee member of the Board of Trustees at the College. From 1986-88, Kura was Director of Te Puke o Tara – PR3 Hilary College, and from 1989-93 she tutored bridging art, painting, drawing and design at Wanganui Polytechnic. In 1993 Kura took up an appointment as lecturer in Māori art at Elam School of Fine Arts and remained in this position until 1995. From 1996-99 she completed various papers in Te Reo Māori and Te Reo Rangātira at Massey University and in 2000 she graduated with a Masters in Māori Visual Arts (1st class hons). From 1996-2001 and in 2003, Kura was a lecturer in Māori Visual Arts (Toioho Ki Apiti) in the Māori Studies Department at Massey University. In 2004 she was appointed Head of Painting at Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiarangi, Whakatane, and Admistrator/Fieldworker, Matakura Directory, Massey University Te Kura Toi Advisory Committee, Te Whare Wānanga O Aotearoa.

As a leading New Zealand artist, painter and art educator, Kura has held over 26 solo exhibitions and over 30 group exhibitions in New Zealand and overseas. She has curated many exhibitions including: Te Ao Hurihuri, Contemporary Māori Women at the Govett Brewster Gallery in New Plymouth (1987), Te Huihuinga, Contemporary Cultural Exchange Māori/Hawaiian at Forum North, Whangarei in 1988, He Kokonga, 1st Artist Choice Exhibition at Auckland City Art Gallery (1989), Nga Nui O Te Ra, Master Weavers of Aotearoa, Te Taumata Art Gallery Pacific Rim Weavers Conference (1992), Ko te Hapai o i muri, ko Te amorangi ki mua, Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North in 1996. She has received numerous commissions and her work is represented in major New Zealand galleries. She was a foundation member of Te Atinga, Te Waka Toi NZ Arts Council from 1987-89 and since 1989 has been an Art Assessor for Te Waka Toi. In 1987 she was Education Officer for Te Hokinga Mai – Te Māori at the Auckland City Art Gallery. From 1992-95 she was a Member of the Advisory Committee for BFA Wanganui Polytechnic. Kura has written non-fiction articles, reviews, and a thesis. She has also written under the name Kura Rewiri-Thorsen.

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation and correspondence from Kura Te Waru-Rewiri: 30 July 1998 and 2 October 2004.
  • Phone conversation and correspondence from Kura Te Waru-Rewiri: 30 July 1998 and 2 October 2004.
  • “Kura Tentative About ‘Māori Artist’ Tag.” Press [Christchurch] 2 Sept. 1992: 20.


  • "Te Hokinga Mai o Whatu Aho Rua." Rev. of Te Whatu Aho Rua exhibition at the Whanganui Museum, curated by Rangihiroa Panoho. Mana Tangata: Māori Newspaper 13 (Nov. 1992): 14.
  • Visual Arts

  • Te Manu Patiki. Story by Bernard Gadd. Māori language version by Kahu Waititi and Judith Riki. Illus. Kura Rewiri-Thorsen. Papatoetoe, Tamaki-makau-rau [Auckland], N.Z.: Te Rōpu Kahurangi, 1988.


  • "Alternative Networks." Kura Rewiri-Thorsen. PPTA Journal Term 2 (1987): 34-35.
  • "Kura Rewiri-Thorsen talks to Art New Zealand." Art New Zealand 45 (Summer 1987/88): 56-59.
  • In this interview Kura speaks of her development as an artist and discusses her key paintings and exhibitions.
  • "The Covenant." Mana Tiriti: The Art of Protest and Partnership. Wellington, N.Z.: Haeata Māori Women’s Art Collective; Project Waitangi; Wellington City Art Gallery; and Daphne Brasell, 1991. 46-47.
  • Kura writes of her childhood in Waitangi, discusses her role as a painter ‘to enhance and embrace’ the Treaty initiatives of Māori, and reflects on the changing face of Waitangi.
  • Kura Te Waru Rewiri: a Personal Survey, August 20th - 26th September, Lopdell House Gallery. Kura Te Waru-Rewiri, Carole Shepheard, Camilla Highfield and Lopdell House Gallery. Waitakere, N. Z.: Lopdell House Gallery, c. 1999.
  • "Pre-European Māori Carvings." Honours thesis. U of Canterbury, 1973.
  • Allom, Barry and Peter Simpson. "Art Reviews." Press [Christchurch] 9 Sept. 1992: 22.
  • "Artist’s Career Was ‘Chosen’ For Her." Kokiri Paetae 12 (Oct. 1997): 21. No further details.
  • Brown, Amy. "Māori Art Today." Art New Zealand 45 (Summer 1987/88): 52-55.
  • Cain, Stephen. "Park Tile Painter’s Work Shows Strength." Evening Post 12 Feb. 1992: 34.
  • Cain, Stephen. "The Delightful, Daring And The Developing On Show." Evening Post 28 Feb. 1992: 10.
  • Docking, Gil. Two Hundred Years of New Zealand Painting. Rev. ed. Auckland, N.Z.: Bateman, 1990.
  • Dunn, M. A Concise History of New Zealand Painting. Auckland, N.Z.: Bateman, 1991.
  • Dunn, M. Contemporary Painting in New Zealand. Roseville East, N.S.W: Craftsman House, 1996.
  • Fusco, Cassandra. "Interview with Kura Te Waru Rewiri." Takahe 41 (Jan. 2001): 56-57.
  • Jarvis, Adrienne. "Bold New World." Art News 22.3 (Spring 2002): 39.
  • "Kura Rewiri-Thorsen Talks to Art New Zealand." Art New Zealand 45 (Summer 1987/88): 56-59.
  • Highfield, Camilla. Kura Te Waru Rewiri: a Māori Woman Artist. Wellington, N.Z.: Gilt Edge, [2000].
  • "Inspiration From The Past." Evening Standard 17 Apr. 1998: 8.
  • Lucie-Smith, E. Race, Sex and Gender: In Contemporary Art. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1994.
  • McLeod, Warwick. "Black and White: Dealing With Differences." Art New Zealand 74 (Autumn 1995): 51-53.
  • McNamara, T J. "Few So Bold To Match The Master." New Zealand Herald 8 June 1989: 2.
  • Manskleid, Felix. "Otara’s Fauvist." Auckland Metro: New Zealand’s First City Magazine 6.63 (Sept. 1986): 194+.
  • Misa, Tapu. "Class of 2001." Mana: The Māori News Magazine for All New Zealanders 40 (June/July 2001): 39-43.
  • Moore, Christopher. "Visibly Māori." Press [Christchurch] 28 Aug. 2002: C1.
  • Moore, Leanne. "Towards Māori Perspectives." New Zealand Herald 3 July 1993. No further details.
  • Panoho, Rangihiroa, "Haongia Te Taonga." Art New Zealand 40 (Spring 1986): 31+.
  • Peoples, John Daly. "Exhibitions: Auckland." Art New Zealand 60 (Spring 1991): 46-47.
  • Poland, N. Into The Present. Palmerston North, N.Z.: Manawatu Gallery, 1998.
  • Rewi, Adrienne. "Kura Tentative About ‘Māori Artist’ Tag." Press [Christchurch] 2 Sept. 1992: 20.
  • Taylor, Rob. "Endless Summer Hints At Reality Despoiled." Dominion 7 Feb. 1990: 12.
  • Te Awekotuku, Ngahuia. "Kura Te Waru Rewiti." Art New Zealand 68 (Spring 1993): 91-93.
  • A discussion of Kura’s art and motivating influences.
  • Wedde, Ian. "Painting as Camouflage." Evening Post 8 Feb. 1990: 17.
  • Were, Virginia. "Contemporary Māori Art." Art News 21.3 (Spring 2001): 58-60.
  • Davey, Deseree. Te Karanga: Canterbury Māori Studies Association 4.4 (1989): 30.
  • Erai, Michelle, Fuli, Everdina, Irwin, Kathie and Wilcox, Lenaire. Māori Women: An Annotated Bibliography. [Wellington, N.Z.]: Michelle Erai, Everdina Fuli, Kathie Irwin and Lenaire Wilcox, 1991. 28.