Ngā Hau Ngākau
Ki te tangi a te manu e karanga nei
“Tui, tui, tuituia!”
Tuia i runga, tuia i raro, tuia i roto
Tuia i waho, tuia i te here tangata

Ngā Hau Ngākau (Breath of Mine) is an immersive exhibition of luminous paintings, intricately carved taonga puoro and beautiful music.

The show is a collaboration between carver Brian Flintoff, musician Bob Bickerton and artist Robin Slow. It includes 36 paintings, 2 kete (baskets) and 1 whāriki (woven mat) by Slow; 34 carvings by Flintoff; and a soundscape and video by Bickerton, with vocals and taonga puoro (Māori musical instruments) by musicians Ariana Tikao, Holly Weir-Tikao and Solomon Rahui. 

The exhibition layout takes the form of the whare whakairo (carved meeting house) and focusses on the role of manu (birds) as messengers in Māori mythology. It acknowledges birds as atua tangata whenua (the original ancestors of our islands) and by honouring the ancient whakapapa (genealogy) of ngā manu, the exhibition offers a different perspective when considering contemporary human experience in Aotearoa.

Ngā Hau Ngākau. An exhibition by Robin Slow, Brian Flintoff and Bob Bickerton
Supported by Wakatū Incorporation.

27 February 2021 - 25 July 2021
Temporary Gallery
Building Map
All ages


Hear musician Bob Bickerton talk about the unique instrument the pūtōrino, its sound and the fascinating story that connects it to the kōkako.


The Revival

Many of the taonga puoro (traditional instruments) that are on display in Ngā Hau Ngākau were nearly lost. Listen to musician Bob Bickerton tell the story of how a small group of people worked to revive the instruments.