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Bernard Makoare (Te Uri o Hau, Ngāti Whātua, Te Waiariki, Te Kaitūtae, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi-nui-tonu) proposed the title of our new exhibition Pohewa Pāhewa over a cup of tea at his home and studio inland of the Bay of Islands. With a wealth of experience working across cultural sectors and as a maker, Bernard has valuable insights into kaupapa Māori design and its vast potential for Aotearoa.

Bernard delivers one of five interviews screening large-scale in the gallery during Pohewa Pāhewa, offering his thoughts on what design is and who it serves. Central to his thinking is the importance of acknowledging wairua and to be attuned to the power of wairua in design practice.

For this Ockham Lecture, Bernard will build on the kōrero from his interview and share mātauranga that has informed his decades of mahi.

Te Uri o Hau; Ngāti Whatua Te Waiāriki, Te Kai Tutae; Te Rarawa Ngāpuhi-nui-tonu

Bernard Makoare lives with his wife Hinerangi and their children in the Taiāmai region, inland of the Bay of Islands. They are heavily involved in the community as a contemporary Māori whānau, with ancestral obligations to all of their marae across the region.

Traditionally taught as a wood carver, Bernard considers his creative practice as a reflection of his heritage, environments and the importance of place in whanaungatanga or relationships between people, heritage, places and significant objects.

Bernard holds a number of governance positions, including as one of three Ngāti Whātua representatives to the Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum Taumata-ā-Iwi, a position he has been privileged to hold for nearly 20 years. He has contributed to Haerewa at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, advisories at Auckland Council and Auckland City Libraries, and was a founding member of the Māori support network in Auckland City Council, Whai-a-tihi.

He is personally committed to tribal and cultural revitalisation and has been actively involved in activities in this respect for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa and other iwi organisations over the past 30 years.

In recent years he has produced several exhibitions as a solo artist and in collaboration with others. Outside of his personal artistic aspirations, he has worked within and led design teams for various organisations and projects, including Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki; Auckland Zoo’s Te Wao Nui project; Shed 10 on Queens Wharf; Te Oro arts centre; and the Hobsonville Point development.

He has also contributed to key strategy and policy advocacy to elevate Māori design understanding within public and private organisations. This has included working with Phil Wihongi and the team at the Auckland Design Office (ADO) to develop practices which relate to ‘design kawa’, founded on the values of mana (the delicate balance of power and authority, per the late Rev. Māori Marsden) and mīharo (the aspiration of seeking the extraordinary).

Bernard is currently chair of Toi Ngāpuhi arts agency and advocacy.

The Ockham Lecture series is an annual programme of lectures and panel discussions across different themes that critically engage with craft, design and architecture. This programme is supported by Objectspace's Lead Partner Ockham Residential.


  • Free - registration essential


  • Thu 27 Jul


  • 5:30 pm — 7:00 pm


  • 13 Rose Road
  • Ponsonby