17 Dec 2023

Regional Wrap: creative Kerikeri 

From Culture 101, 1:30 pm on 17 December 2023
Kerikeri Road, central Kerikeri, Bay of Islands.

Kerikeri Road, central Kerikeri, Bay of Islands. Photo: RNZ / Peter de Graaf

As the summer break starts, many New Zealanders will be heading to the warmer climes of Te Tai Tokerau Northland and a town known for its arts, culture and heritage: Kerikeri. 

Culture 101’s Mark Amery is joined by Kerikeri based RNZ journalist Peter De Graaf for this week’s Regional Wrap.

Not just a summer service hub, Kerikeri is home to the Turner Centre for Performing Arts, the Blackbox Theatre, Kerikeri Theatre Company and a wide range of galleries.

Chris Booth sculpture Te Haa o Te Ao (The Breath of the World) dominates entrance to Kerikeri

Photo: RNZ / Peter de Graaf

Earlier this month a new and controversial public artwork was unveiled on the outskirts of town, welcoming visitors. ‘Te Haa o Te Ao’ is by well-known local artist, Chris Booth, and Tuauahiroa Hei Hei. It comprises 120 boulders suspended from a 15-metre-high pole, capped by a birds' head sculpture. 

A new exhibition has also just opened at Kerikeri’s world famous heritage site, the Kerikeri Mission Station. It’s New Zealand’s oldest standing European building and the nearby Stone Store, our oldest stone building. One of the places where Māori and Pākehā first interacted, you can also visit the Kororipo Pā site across the inlet.

New Zealand's oldest stone building, the store at Kerikeri. Photo:

Inspired by the connections of prominent Ngāpuhi figures like Hongi Hika, Ruatara and Hariata Rongo to the Mission Station, weaving and sculpture by renowned artist Maureen Lander are on show until April.