Kura programme



Students, parents, caregivers and teachers will have a warm, hospitable and welcoming experience at Te Whare Toi o Whanganui-a-Tara where it is the aim to nurture, foster and grow education in the arts for students of Kura in Whanga-nui-a-Tara and around Aotearoa.  Students will have the opportunity to experience outdoor sculptures and changing exhibitions inside the Gallery, the exhbition changes every few months. 

Sculpture Trail programme

The outdoor sculpture programme will be available in terms one and four.

The development of sculptures in and around the Civic Square was an initiative that sought to acknowledge the rich cultural heritage of Wellington and Wellington Harbour.  Key themes are reflected in the place and sculptures and the functional City to Sea bridge that has been adorned with sculptures reflecting Wellington's Māori and European heritage.  Rewi Thompson and John Grey were hired as architects and Paratene Matchitt was contracted to design and create the sculptures that adorn the bridge.

A piece of urban landscape transformed at the sea edge or depending on how you look at it, a portion of the city / shoreline uplifted and eroded by the sea.  The whole work, together with very large timber sculptures by Para Matchitt is intended to evoke ideas and stories of Whanganui-a-Tara and Maui, the sea, the land, navigation and arrival  (John Grey, Wellington Architect, October 1993)

  • Students will explore the sculptures in and around the City to Sea bridge, hear the story of €˜Ngake and Whataitai and The Fish of Māui and discover how these stories are represented in the sculptures of the bridge.
  • Students will look at the sculpture of Kupe and learn about the legendary stories of Kupe, the navigator.  Students will be encouraged to think about Kupe's voyage to Aotearoa and the skills necessary for such a fete. 
  • The notion of voyaging aboard the traditional waka hourua of Māori ancestors will be referenced again in Para Matchitt's City to Sea bridge sculptures in the symbols extended on Pou (poles).
  • Students will spend time sketching the symbols and writing thoughts on their meaning.
  • Students will look to the Maunga on the Bridge and the representation of Te Wai Pounamu and Te ika a Māui in this sculpture with pounamu being a material used to represent the South Island.
  • Students will discover the patterns in the bricks that represent (net, rope and flounder (pātiki))
  • Students will see Matt Pine'€™s Oamaru stone sculptures at the foot of the steps; the prow of the Waka as they step onto the path following the flounder as they approach the entrance to te Whare Toi o Whanganui-a-Tara. 
  • Students will stop and pause before the entrance, take several steps back and look carefully for a sculpture by Ralph Hotere called Fault€™, referencing the inaugural fault line that Wellington lies upon and giving respect to the power of Papatuanuku should she choose to shake.