Rua Pōtae, (living in two worlds), features John Baxter’s paintings from 1996–2004. Baxter’s work reflects tikanga (customs and traditional values) and the experience of being between the two worlds of Māori and Pākehā culture.

John Baxter (Taranaki, Te Whakatōhea) was born in Wellington in 1952. He became well known for his book designs, in particular the covers he produced for collections of poetry by his parents, James K Baxter and JC Sturm. “Both my parents were poets, but I am a painter. Their words were magical, but they produced images in my mind which sometimes became pictures on a page or canvas.”

Rua pōtae was a term used in the 1940s and ‘50s for ‘he who wears two hats’. “If you were in the Māori world you wore your Māori hat, if you were in your Pākehā world you wore your Pākehā hat. The two didn’t mix.”


  • Rātu Tuesday–Rātapu Sunday
  • 10am–4pm


  • 20 Mahara Place
  • Waikanae 5036
  • Aotearoa New Zealand