Honouring Taranaki women
From Taranaki surfing star Paige Hareb to te reo Ma¯ ori champion Hana Te Hemara, NPDC’s Puke Ariki’s latest exhibition honours extraordinary Taranaki women.
Hina: Celebrating Taranaki Women was curated by Puke Ariki’s four female heritage curators and commemorates the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage. On September, 19 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
The exhibition features the stories of 11 Taranaki women from all walks of life, from Taranaki’s early history to the present. Alongside these 11 stories are a selection of women from the community who have responded with their own personal stories.
“Suffrage 125 is a wonderful opportunity to explore the positive progress New Zealand has made in women’s equality and to celebrate the diversity of experiences from women in our community,” says Puke Ariki manager Kelvin Day.
As part of the exhibition Puke Ariki will host two events; the first is The Peace Project which will coincide with Suffrage 125 celebrations.
Visitors to the libraries are invited to write messages of peace and equality on doves made from recycled milk bottles. All of these messages will be included in artist Viv Davy’s installation that will take shape on the Puke Ariki air bridge from September 20. This installation is inspired by the work of feminist, pacifist and environmentalist Elsie Andrews who is one of the 11 women featured in the exhibition.
Later in the year, historian and award-winning author of A History of New Zealand Women, Barbara Brookes and the four Puke Ariki heritage curators behind Hina will explore the history of New Zealand women, through objects and artworks from the museum’s extensive collection. The presentation will encourage seeing New Zealand’s history through a female lens, from the points of view of wives, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts.
■ Hina is open now in the Lane Gallery and as well as the stories of the women there are a number of donated artefacts on display including a surfboard from Hareb and a kete from Puke Ariki’s taonga ma¯ori collection that was conserved by Rose Evans, one of the exhibitions respondents.
Taranaki surfing star Paige Hareb