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Desna Whaanga-Schollum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Desna Whaanga-Schollum is a New Zealand artist.

Early life


Whaanga-Schollum was raised in Māhia and Wairoa, on the East Coast of New Zealand.[1] Her mother is writer, illustrator and historian Mere Whaanga.[2] Whaanga-Schollum is affiliated with Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Pāhauwera.[3]



Whaanga-Schollum completed a Master of Science Communication in 2018 at Otago University. Her thesis is titled Taipōrutu, Taonga Tuku Iho. Articulating a Mātauranga Māori 'Sense of Place'. This work explores the philosophical and community values of mātauranga Māori, and considers how the science communication in this area might be improved within the context of resource management development processes. As part of her research, Whaanga-Schollum conducted a case study of Taipōrutu, her whānau farm on the East Coast of New Zealand.[4]



Whaanga-Schollum is founding member and Chair of Ngā Aho (Māori Design Professionals Inc), which was founded to respond to the Urban Design Protocol released by the Ministry for the Environment in 2005. Ngā Aho aims to champion Māori design practitioners, and engages in advocacy and education work.[5]

A memorandum of understanding between Ngā Aho and the New Zealand Institute of Architects was signed in 2015. This kawenata is a values-based agreement, and is based around five articles in the spirit of partnership under the mana of the Treaty of Waitangi.[6]

Whaanga-Schollum has exhibited her artworks in both solo and group shows around New Zealand.[7] She has a background in a wide range of mediums, and all her work is based in kaupapa Māori frameworks.[8] She is one of the organisers of the annual Gifted Sands art exhibition in Mahia.[9]

Whaanga-Schollum is Chair of the board for Artspace Aotearoa.[10] She has written for a range of publications and presented at conferences and wānanga both in New Zealand and internationally. She was on the panel of judges for The Morgan Foundation's Make Me A Flag competition.[11]


  1. ^ McCauley, Tania (25 September 2013). "Maori designers join forces". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Taiporutu Whaanga Whanau Exhibition". The Big Idea. 13 September 2006. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Desna Whaanga-Schollum". Arts Foundation. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  4. ^ Whaanga-Schollum, Desna (2018). Taipōrutu, Taonga Tuku Iho. Articulating a Mātauranga Māori ‘Sense of Place’ (Masters thesis). OUR Archive, University of Otago. hdl:10523/8568.
  5. ^ "Our Aotearoa: Te Tiriti o Waitangi and equity in architecture". Architecture Now. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  6. ^ Architects (www.nzia.co.nz), NZ Institute of. "New Zealand Institute of Architects and Ngā Aho sign Te Kawenata o Rata". NZ Institute of Architects (www.nzia.co.nz). Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Gifted Sands | Exhibition and Workshops, Ruawharo Marae, Opoutama, Mahia, New Zealand. Contemporary and traditional Maori Art". giftedsands.co.nz. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  8. ^ "SunLive - Shining a light on the city - The Bay's News First". www.sunlive.co.nz. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Gifted Sands reveals art treasures". www.wairoastar.co.nz. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Artspace Aotearoa - About". artspace-aotearoa.nz. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Make Me a flag". The Morgan Foundation. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2020.