New exhibition focuses on most precious natural resource

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Works by artists that engage in significant relationships with water are the feature of Te Au: Liquid Constituencies, a new exhibition opening at NPDC’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery on 3 December.

“Water is our most precious natural resource, and this exhibition draws on recent work by artists working around the Pacific to propose ways in which we can understand, protect and preserve our resources and maintain the flow and identity of the bodies of water that surround us,” says Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Director Zara Stanhope.

The exhibition presents work by 11 local, national, and international artists and artist collectives who use local and ancestral knowledge to start conversations around our use of water and how we might better protect it.

“This is an ongoing project which will involve mana whenua, scientists, researchers, educators, and artists to advocate and act for positive change,” Zara says.

“Since it opened in 1970 the Govett-Brewster has sought to raise and foster conversations about the world we live in – this exhibition is the latest chapter.”

For opening weekend there are a series of free events, activities, and demonstrations:


Saturday 3 December

  • 10 am                  Doors open
  • 10.15 am            Welcome to artists, curators, and visitors.
  • 10:30 am            Bonita Bigham in conversation with Te Aorangi Dillon and Ngaahina Hohaia.
  • 11:30 am            Arielle Walker & Monique Jansen from Te Waituhi ā Nuku: Drawing Ecologies.
  • 1:30 pm              Megan Cope with Taloi Havini.
  • 2:30 pm              Ruha Fifita with Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i.


Sunday 4 December

  • 10 am   IVI - Koka’anga Artist Demonstration

The exhibition runs until 20 March 2023. For more information visit


Fast Facts

  • Govett-Brewster Art Gallery opened in 1970 and the Len Lye Centre opened in 2015
  • The gallery attracts around 60,000 visitors a year, with most coming from outside the district.
  • The gallery also runs an art and design store, cinema, and holds regular public programmes relating to the exhibitions.

Caption:  One of the images in the exhibition, Kuku Biochar Project & Waikōkopu stream restoration.  Image Maija Stephens. Courtesy of the artist.