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Kiingi Tuheitia Portraiture Award

15 September 2023 - 25 February 2024

Open daily 10am to 5pm

Free entry

The Kiingi Tuheitia Portraiture Award is a biennial competition that encourages emerging Maaori artists to create portraits of their tuupuna (ancestors) in any medium. The Award was launched in August 2020 and is hosted and administered by the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata in honour of Kiingi Tuheitia.

The 2023 exhibition is a showcase of finalists and highly-commended works, depicting a brilliant variety of approaches and styles in many mediums.

More information:


2023 finalists

  • Karaitiana Akroyd
  • Hana Pera Aoake
  • Lisa Awatere
  • Tia Barrett
  • Jamie Berry
  • Annabel Bowen
  • Emily Calvert
  • Hikurangi Edwards
  • Heramaahina Eketone
  • Michelle Estall
  • Bodie Friend
  • Lima Gudgeon
  • Aimee Guthrie
  • Story Wetekia Hemi-Morehouse
  • Stevei Houkamau
  • Yara Hunt
  • Anna Jepson
  • Ngawini Keelan
  • Michelle Hinekura Kerr
  • Tia Kershaw
  • Rosalie Koko
  • Marie Kyle
  • Ani Ligaliga
  • Bobby Luke
  • Tukaroto Mahuta
  • Rangimoana Morgan
  • Reuben Nicklin
  • Keana Paerata
  • Kate Parker
  • Arini Poutu
  • Robert Pritchard-Blunt
  • Ming Ranginui
  • Ngaroma Riley
  • Makareta Tatare-isaacs
  • Trinity Thompson-Browne
  • Maraea Timutimu
  • Tukiri Tini
  • Mohi Toko
  • Jody Tupara
  • Rīhari Warnock
  • Rik Wilson
  • Mele Siniva Williams
  • Jessie Witeri


2023 judging panel

Steve Gibbs

Steve Gibbs (Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Rongowhakaata, Rongomaiwahine) is a Māori researcher, artist, arts educator and curator, born and raised in Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa/Gisborne. He earned a Diploma of Fine Arts from Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, in 1978. He moved back to Gisborne in 1994 and began his role as a principal tutor, alongside Sir Derek Lardelli and Sandy Adsett, at the school of contemporary Māori visual arts, Toihoukura. Gibbs completed his Masters in Māori Visual Arts from Massey University in 2006.

Gibbs holds a personal commitment to the development of contemporary Māori visual arts, with Tairāwhiti and local iwi Māori, as well as with international indigenous art communities. Involved in Ngā Puna Waihanga (the national body of Māori artists and writers) and a member of Te Ātinga, he has exhibited his substantial body of work both nationally and internationally.

Mr G Hoete

Graham Hoete aka "Mr G" (Ngati Awa, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui) is an Māori multi-disciplinary, portrait artist from Tauranga Moana, Aotearoa, New Zealand. Raised in Kawerau as a child, Graham is now recognized nationally and globally for his visual story telling through his portraiture work with the recurring theme of hononga connection - connecting people to place. Graham has painted portraits throughout the globe as a full time artist for the last 18 years with work in Scotland, America, Australia, Wharekauri Chatham Islands and is currently working on his own book 100 Portraits in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

His most recent commissioned work was a five-storey-high tribute portrait of Hana Te Hemara, Leader of Nga Tamatoa who presented the Māori Language Petition to Parliament in 1972. This portrait is located in the centre of Ngāmotu New Plymouth and is currently the largest portrait in New Zealand. "He karoro ahau, o nga karoro inu tai, o te haupapa kohatu, i te Moutere o Motiti"

Lisa Reihana

Lisa Reihana (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tūteauru, Ngāi Tupoto), lives and works in Auckland. Reihana represented New Zealand in 2017 at the Venice Biennale with the exhibition Emissaries. AGNSW has commissioned a substantial video work for their new Sydney Modern Gallery, Australia; and Reihana presented Kura Moana as the Artist in Focus for the Aotearoa New Zealand Arts Festival. Recent exhibitions include Christian Louboutin L'exhibitionist Grimaldi Forum, Monaco; Māori Moving Image ki Te Puna Waiwhetū Christchurch Art Gallery; and Toi Tu, Toi Ora at Auckland Art Gallery in Auckland. in Pursuit of Venus [infected] continues to tour internationally. She was shortlisted for the Walters Prize in 2008 and 2016, was awarded an Arts Laureate in 2014 and CNZM in 2022.

Reihana is renowned for her animations and video works including Wog Features, 1990 and A Māori Dragon Story, 1995 and Digital Marae 2001. Lisa’s work is held in private and public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland; Australia National Gallery, Canberra; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; LACMA Museum, Los Angeles and Brooklyn Museum, New York. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University and a Masters in Design from UNITEC School of Visual Art and Design.