Jenny Harper, Director, Christchurch Art Gallery, (sponsor of AAANZ Award, 3 December 2016) congratulates Author on winning ‘Best Art Writing by a Māori/Pacific Islander’, ANU, Canberra

An ongoing series of responses to a variety of work undertaken by PIHIRAU PRODUCTIONS showcasing our knowledge and expertise.



The book is expansive in its presentation and format as well as highly innovative in its conceptual and theoretical range. Rangihīroa Panoho alludes to a broad range of art practices to elicit an exciting and novel history of Māori art, one which spans customary and contemporary artworks alongside photography and architecture. Written in a highly evocative and poetic style, the volume intrinsically addresses equally valued Māori art forms such as oratory and spoken word to expand and broaden our understanding of what constitutes a Māori canon of art. Creating a space for subjective histories to flourish alongside the poetic stature of tribal histories and chants, the author writes these vital aspects into the material structure and format of the book itself. In this way readers are led into the heart of Māori customary practice, enjoying the cyclical nature of histories rather the purely linear. In an extensive section, the author presents examples of jade disks and pendants, examining archaic and contemporary art forms from China and Taiwan in order to extend the parameters of an accepted Māori art history. In this way he engages readers with an examination of the relationship between Māori and their earliest forbears. This in itself is novel and exciting and marks an important contribution to the field of Māori (and Pacific) art history which can all too often become cloistered within the boundaries of diverse and regional disciplines.

This bold and scholarly volume fuses complex histories and perspectives in a very accessable and enjoyable way. High-quality images and sumptuous production engage the reader’s attention and manage to integrate the subject matter with the materiality of the book itself. Here again, the author breaks new ground by including photographs from collaborative artists Mark Adams and Haruhiko Sameshima which add a further layer to our understanding of what constitutes art and its history.    . Blurring the boundaries between object and subject – landscape, architecture and oratory, tribal histories and chants – all become agile advocates for an impressive new art analysis under the author’s direction. This is an exciting and innovative addition to the discipline of Māori and Pacific art history volumes. The expansive vision of the author deserves to be acknowledged and rewarded.

Maia Nuku, Associate Curator, Oceanic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York   

Report, ‘Māori Art’ winner of Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ) Annual Art Book Prize for Best Art Writing by a NZ Māori or Pacific Islander. 
AAANZ Conference, ANU,Canberra, 3 December 2016

Many thanks for the wonderful job you did of chairing Fred Graham at the Festival.  The session was very well-received and it was a privilege to celebrate Fred’s life and work in this way.  A good session requires a great chair and you were a wonderful fit.
It was a hugely successful Festival this year – record-breaking attendance of more than 65,000 and fabulous feedback from writers, readers and the media.  Much appreciation to you for your part in it.
Anne O’Brien | Festival Director 
2017 Auckland Writers Festival |16-21 May 2017

"Dr Panoho's insights were fascinating and his seminar opened me up to new ways of thinking about art in this part of the world. The connections go deeper than I had ever imagined." 

Perry Bradley (Filmmaker)


On behalf of Warner Music NZ, I would like to thank you for your time and help consulting on our Iron Maiden Presentation awards. Your guidance and understanding of what we were trying to achieve was a great help. From the outset, it was extremely important to acknowledge the place that Iron Maiden holds in the heart of many New Zealanders whilst combining something unique to represent our strong warrior culture. With your help we were able to respectfully do that.

Phil Howling | General Manager, Warner Music New Zealand
Experiencing one day at the Auckland Museum with Dr. Rangihiroa Panoho was an adventure of a lifetime!  With his expertise we journeyed through the history of the Maori people while I gained a greater understanding of their philosophy of life as expressed through their unique art.   It was both surreal and sublime.   

Bob Scott- Director, Compassionate Justice International