Join us for an artist panel discussion featuring Alex Monteith, Natalie Robertson, Kahurangiariki Smith and Aroha Yates-Smith. The group will discuss the process and kaupapa behind Te rerenga pōuri o nga parawhenua ki Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, 2019, a large-scale video installation currently part of Moana Don’t Cry. The work responds to the mass erosion caused over the past century at Waiorongomai. The artists follow the water flow from mist, rains and streams down the river to the moana.

In this discussion, the artists and scholars will trace the non-visible threads that bind the work together and significance of Parawhenuamea, the atua (deity) of alluvial waters, in the collaborative work, He Tangi Aroha—Mama Don’t Cry, 2019, by Smith and Yates-Smith. Renowned for her work on the Māori divine feminine, Aroha Yates-Smith will discuss Parawhenuamea, and her connection to Tangaroa and Hinemoana of the ocean.


Alex Monteith (b. Belfast, Ireland. Resides Te Piha, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand) is an artist and senior lecturer at the Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland, Aotearoa. Her participatory and video works often explore the political dimensions of culture engaged in turmoil over land ownership, history and occupation.

Natalie Robertson (Ngāti Porou, Clann Dhònnchaidh, b. Kawerau, Aotearoa New Zealand) is an artist and Senior Lecturer at AUT University, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Robertson’s research and artistic practice draws on historic archives and Ngāti Porou oral customs, by exploring Māori knowledge practices, environmental issues and cultural landscapes, to engage relationships to place.

He uri tēnei nō ngā iwi i heke mai ai i runga i ngā waka o Te Arawa, o Tainui, o Takitimu, o Horouta, o Mataatua me ngā iwi hoki i takea mai nei i te whenua nei, i te Ūkaipō, i ngā whenua o Uropi hoki. Aroha Yates-Smith was raised in Rotorua and lives in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton). She was Professor and Dean of Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, School of Māori and Pacific Development, at the University of Waikato. Her PhD thesis, entitled Hine! E Hine!: Rediscovering the Feminine in Māori Spirituality, focuses on the role of atua wāhine in Māori cosmology and the marginalisation of the Māori feminine in ethnographic writings and the modern colonised Māori community.

Kahurangiariki Smith’s principal focus is on mana wāhine and storytelling, which inform her art and video game development practices. Kahurangiariki’s artworks often employ digital formats, a reflection of the media we engage with, in person and online—gifs, games and karaoke.