King Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero


Ngāti Mahuta (c. 1825-1894)

Iwi map - King Tawhiao Potatau Te WherowheroIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

Tukaroto Matutaera Potatau Te Wherowhero Tawhiao, the second Māori king, is clearly presented by Lindauer as a leading rangatira, with full-facial moko, huia feathers, pounamu ear ornament and a kahu kiwi (kiwi feather cloak).

The original source for this painting is a photographic portrait taken by the Sydney photographer Henry King in 1884. At this time Tawhiao was en route to England, leading a deputation of Māori leaders to petition Queen Victoria for the honouring of the Treaty of Waitangi, as well as seeking to establish an independent commission of inquiry into the confiscations of Māori land. Tawhiao sat for two photographs in Henry King's studio, but was recorded in contemporary European attire, without feathers, and with a pounamu heitiki prominently positioned. Although Lindauer often adjusted the contents of his photographic sources, at times incorporating elements from other photographs into his paintings for greater effect, the inclusion of the kahu kiwi and huia feathers is appropriate for such a significant rangatira.

Tawhiao was an important and visionary leader, and extremely well-known even to Pākēha New Zealanders at this time - this fine portrait would have found a ready buyer. Although the early history of this painting is not known, it was gifted to Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu in 1964.

Ken Hall, Assistant Curator, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

Tukua mai āu nā kōreroSubmit your story

Tāhuhu kōrero

Contributed stories

Do you have a story related to this portrait? Maybe you have images of this person? If you would like to see your story published on this website, please submit it here. All stories are reviewed before publishing.

  • open
    Contributed story - King Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero contributed by Wiremu Puke on 3 December 2010

    I have a story about "King Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero".

    Your curator is factually incorrect in his reference that King Tuheitia was wearing a kiwi korowai ( cloak) at his coronation in 2006. In fact he wasn't. He wore a kaitaka cloak with a pureki rain cape over it due to his size. I suggest you view the NZ Herald photos taken on August 21st 2006.

    Read full story | View
Waiho mai he paku kōrero Leave a comment

Pito korero about Latest comments about King Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero

We welcome your comments on the portraits.

  • Garry Reed

    At 3pm on 28 August 2014

    Hi, I am wondering if anyone has any information about King Potatau Te Wherowhero's wife/wives &children. My grandmother who was given a european name was believed to be his daughter, or one of his children. As my mother used to tell me a story about how her mother was a maori princes, who was supposed to be married to a high ranking person of another tribe, but she fell in love with a white settler with the name of Berry. I am trying to do my family tree.I have pictures of her &,her mother, who I have been told was of high standing in the family &held position of healer/witchdoctor?

  • Terehia tutuki te wharau - ngati huaa / ngati tumutumu

    At 4pm on 9 August 2013

    tino ataahuaa

  • teesha - Ngapuhi, Te whanau a ruataupare

    At 12pm on 21 May 2013

    ka taea ahau he pakiwaitara e pa ana ki ona tamoko , kei te mahia e au he whaikorero e pa ana ki a kingi tawhiao tena koe :)

  • Tangiwai Raumati Teresa Tutuki Te Wharau - N/Mahuta N/Nahho Tumutumu no pare Hauraki

    At 6pm on 5 February 2012

    their beautiful our tupunas all of them kia ora koe

  • Eugene Iti - Ngati Makirangi, Tainui

    At 12pm on 20 October 2011

    To the person who left the a comment under the name of Anonymous, can you lpease send me some photos of the portrait and how much you want for the portrait please. 5 Salisbury Rd Rotorua. 3010. Naku Noa.

  • hera matika - tainui te iwi ngati wairere te hapu

    At 9am on 14 September 2011

    i think this is awsome hera matika is my name !! KIA ORA !!

  • Anonymous

    At 3pm on 5 August 2011

    Hi there I have a framed picture of this person (a fairly large one) and on the back of it has information about him as well. It is on velvet canvas and was given to me however I am looking into selling it and wondered if you would be interested or if you know anywhere that would be? I am happy to send pictures and more info if need be just thought I'd ask before going into it. It was purchased over 20 years ago and is still in really good condition

  • Caroline McBride

    At 8am on 6 December 2010

    Thanks to Wiremu Puke (see contributed story above) for alerting us to a factual error made in the original text to accompany this portrait. With the writer's permission, we have edited the wording to reflect this.

  • Whakapā mai mō ngā kōrero pakirara ka kitea | Contact us to report inappropriate comments

* Mandatory fields

Waiho mai he paku kōrero Leave a comment

  • 900 characters
  • Tukua Submit
Tāia tēnei whārangi | Print this page
Etahi atu whakaahua
Ako ano
Rīpene whakarongo
  • Tangata pūkenga | The Artist

    Learn about Gottfried Lindauer, one of the best-known painters of Māori portraits. Read about his painting techniques, why the works were painted, and the role of his patron Henry Partridge.

  • Documentary series | Behind the Brush

    The Māori Television series Behind the Brush brings alive the stories of descendants and to uncover the lives of the artist, the patron and tupuna Māori.

  • Pukapuka manuhiri | Visitors Book

    Turn the pages, view the hundreds of comments and signatures, read the transcription and translation, and search by name and place. A digitisation of an historical legacy.