Hone Taiapa

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Hone Te Kauru Taiapa (10 August 1911 – 10 May 1979), also known as John Taiapa,[1] was a Māori wood carver and carpenter of Ngati Porou. He was the younger brother of master Māori carver Pine Taiapa.[2] The two brothers worked closely with politician Sir Apirana Turupa Ngata on reintroducing Māori sculpture to the country after World War II.[2] Both men, for example, demonstrated Māori carving skills by carving traditional homes on the North Island in marae as part of a program by the New Zealand Department of Education to educate teachers to reintroduce Māori arts to school children.[2] New Zealand poet Hone Tuwhare included a poem about the wood carver, "On a theme by Hone Taiapa," in his 1973 collection Something Nothing.[3]

He led the team of carvers that carved most of the pieces for Arohanui ki te Tangata in Lower Hutt, which was opened in September 1960.[4]

He was made a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the 1960 Queen's Birthday Honours.[5]

He was the head of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Carving School at Whakarewarewa, Rotorua when it opened in 1967.


  1. ^ Ballara, Angela, "Taiapa, Hone Te Kauru 1911 - 1979", Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Dunn, Michael (2002). New Zealand Sculpture: A History. Auckland University Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-86940-277-8. 
  3. ^ Tuwhare, Hone (1994). Deep River Talk: Collected Poems by Hone Tuwhare. Translated by Frank Stewart. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-1607-0. 
  4. ^ http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/DNZB/alt_essayBody.asp?essayID=5P39
  5. ^ "PLACES AND THINGS", TE AO HOU The New World, No. 32 (September 1960), p. 62.