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Wharenui Harikoa: A Journey of Joy and Transformation

A Vision Woven from Dreams and Heritage

Welcome to the heart of our artistic journey, the Wharenui Harikoa. This project, our largest and most ambitious to date, is more than just an art installation – it's a manifestation of our dreams, identity, and the love we have for each other and our people.

The Genesis of Wharenui Harikoa

Wharenui Harikoa, translating to 'House of Joy', is a large-scale crocheted wharenui (Māori meeting house) that embodies our vision of manifesting intergenerational healing and deeply felt joy. This project is a tribute to our tūpuna (ancestors), a celebration of our culture, and a testament to the healing power of art.

Crafting the Wharenui: A Labour of Love and Resilience

Every stitch in the Wharenui Harikoa is a narrative of resilience and hope. We began this monumental task with a simple crochet hook and a palette of vibrant yarns. We crocheted each panel (with some help from our angels), infusing traditional whakairo (carving) patterns with contemporary materials, symbolising the fusion of past and present, pain and joy.

Seb Charles for Whānau Marama, 2023


Images by Samuel Hartnett, 2023

Wharenui Harikoa: More Than an Art Installation

This project goes beyond the realms of traditional art. It's a social commentary, a healing space, and a celebration of life. As you walk through the Wharenui, you'll feel the warm embrace of a beloved nanny or motherly figure, the strength of our tūpuna (ancestors), and the joy of our people. 

Our Global Journey: Sharing Aroha (Love) with the World

Our vision for Wharenui Harikoa is to travel with it across Aotearoa and beyond, sharing the essence of aroha (love) and the transformative power of art. We aim to connect cultures, heal hearts, and spread joy – one loop, one stitch, one community at a time.

Be a Part of Our Story

We invite you to be part of this incredible journey. Whether through visiting our exhibitions, participating in our workshops, or simply sharing our story, you're contributing to the global tapestry of joy and connection that Wharenui Harikoa represents.

Join us in celebrating the beauty of crochet, the resilience of the human spirit, and the unifying power of art.

Heartfelt Acknowledgments to Our Contributors

Together, We Weave Wonders

Your generosity and shared narratives have not only helped in creating magnificent pieces in the Wharenui but also in nurturing a hapori/community bonded by creativity, culture, and aroha (love). You are all an integral part of our story, our art, and the legacy we are building together. Ngā mihi nui!

Collaborating Artists

(Poupou, Pou Kaiawha, Pou Tuarongo, Tukutuku)

Hiwa-I-Te-Rangi - Ben Rikiti (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Tūhoe)

Tupuānuku - Hollie Tawhiao (Ngāti Tiipa) & Maungarongo Ron Te Kawa (Ngāti Porou)

Tupuārangi - Linda Munn (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ātiawa, Ngāi Tahu)

Waitī - Hollie Tawhiao (Ngāti Tiipa)

Waītā - Rewi McClay (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu)

Waipunarangi - Nigel Borell (Pirirākau, Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Te Whakatōhea)

Pōhutukawa - Manutahi Gray (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu)

Takapuna - Te Hemo Ata Henare (Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Te Whakatōhea.), Maree Kimete

Ururangi - Melissa Tapu Maclean (Rereahu, Ngati Maniapoto)

Ao Tukupū & Ara - Toni Robinson (Nga Ruahine, Ngāti Tu) 

Our Angels (crochet and awhi)

Andrea Herewini, Angela Watson, Annie Bonza, Aroha Camille, Cory & Haley Lowe, Che Wilson, Deb Cole, Dheertha Kumar, Gilly Stuart, Grayson Goffe, Jamie Robinson, Joanna Watton, Kanta Pinadora, Natalee Cooper, Niki Logan, Nicola Fraser, Pak Peacocke. Ross Filiva’a, Toni Robinson, Tony Putai, Vasanti Unka, Whaea Robyn Pryor.


Dr. Rangi Mātāmua (Tūhoe)

Jack Gray (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou)

Oyster Workshop: Kim Tuaine & Sarah Rennie

Zoe Black (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Pākehā)


Jack Gray (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou)

Dance collaborators

Terri Ripeka Crawford (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngai Tūhoe)

Bianca Hyslop (Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue)

Taane Mete (Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Koroki-Kahukura)


Hāmiora Bailey  (Ngāti Porou Ki Harataunga, Ngāti Huarere)

Director of Photography



Jazmin Cole-Filivaa (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu, Aitutaki, Atiu)


Cuetone Media

Kākahu / Crochet art

Lissy Robinson-Cole (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu)

Rudi Robinson-Cole (Ngaruahine, Ngāti Pāoa, Te Arawa, Waikato ki Tai)

Colin Cole

International Contributors

(Tukutuku Panel/Architectural Plans)

Carmen Paulino (USA)

Francoise (Aroha) Danoy (Ngāti Porou/USA) 

Frederick Worrell (Ngāti Porou/UK)

London Kaye (USA) 

Tinna Thorvaldar (Iceland)

Project Manager

Jazmin Cole-Filiva’a (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu, Aitutaki, Atiu)

Creative Strategist

Hāmiora Samuel Bailey (Ngāti Porou Ki Harataunga, Ngāti Huarere)


Libby Gray (Ngāti Rēhia, Ngāti Uepōhatu, Tama Ūpoko Ki Te Awa o Wanganui Me Ngāti Tūwharetoa anō Hoki)

Nathan Judd

Oceania Productions

Rewi McLay (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu)

David Seaton

Simon Garrett (Big Picture NZ)

Sponsors and commercial partners

Bremworth Carpets

Creative New Zealand 

Colenso BBDO 

Everlight NZ

Greenstone TV

Manatū Taonga, Ministry of Culture and Heritage

Nathan Homestead Pukepuke

Ormiston Town Centre 

Outlaw Yarn

First Assist

Phoebe Driver


Morag Duguid

Production Assistants

Christian Cole-Filivaa (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu)

Jamie Robinson (Ngaruahine, Ngāti Pāoa, Te Arawa, Waikato ki Tai)


Libby Gray (Ngāti Rēhia, Ngāti Uepōhatu, Tama Ūpoko Ki Te Awa o Wanganui Me Ngāti Tūwharetoa anō Hoki)

Rewi McLay (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu)

Film Location

Ormiston Town Centre

hosted by Te Whanau Robinson-Cole 



Discover the wonders of the Wharenui Harikoa like never before with our AR app. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colours and beautiful artworks right from the comfort of your own space.

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