Otago Polytechnic

The blessing and unveiling of our new sculpture, Ngā Kete, was held on Monday 15 October.

View the photo gallery on Facebook. 

Watch a video from the event.

Created by award-winning artist and Dunedin School of Art distinguished alumnus Michel Tuffery (MNZM), the 2.5m sandcast bronze was selected after an extensive process involving more than eight proposals.

Ngā Kete, which is positioned near the entrance to The Hub at our Dunedin Campus, serves as a reminder that those who enter Otago Polytechnic fill their kete with knowledge.

Following a conch-horn welcome from Pesamino Tili, and a mihi and karakia led by Matapura Ellison, Phil Ker, Michel Tuffery, and Dunedin City Councillor Marie Laufiso all spoke.

The event also included St Hilda's and John McGlashan Kapa Haka, John McGlashan pipers, and Le Apatonga and Koko Tuffery (Michel's daughter), who danced the ura pa'u. The music, song, dance and performance was a cross cultural ‘tour de force’, and an inspiration to all those who were present.

Tuffery likened Ngā Kete to a midden, “a natural layering of metaphors weaving the kaupapa of the traditional, environmental and cultural with community and history”.

The sculpture has been designed to function as a sundial within the courtyard. At night, up-lighting will enhance Ngā Kete’s woven textures.

There is a stone from Rarotonga buried under the sculpture and the stone on the top is from Rakiura/Stewart Island – placed there by the artist.

Ngā Kete is the first in a range of art works destined to create dialogue, intrigue and learning at our Dunedin campus. Our Art on Campus plan aims to enhance our cultural presence in Dunedin and continue to build the strong reputation of the Dunedin School of Art.


Published on 14 October 2018

Orderdate: 14 Oct 2018
Expiry: 17 Oct 2020