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The renovation of the Museum's south entrance has been an opportunity for us to reconceptualise the Museum as a whole, living thing. The name Te Ao Mārama (the realm of Being and Light) was gifted to the space by Whaea Te Hei Tamariki (Ngāti Whātua, Waikato Tainui), respected kuia and member of the Taumata-a-Iwi, the Museum's Māori advisory committee. The name is the balance of the Grand Foyer, which is known as Te Whei Ao (the realm of coming into Being).
On entering the Museum you come in from 'the darkness', you journey through the knowledge contained in the Museum, following the paths of light in the new loop walkways, and emerge 'enlightened' into the World of Light. There cannot be one space without the other, and everything is connected anew.
Tikanga (from the word tika meaning 'right' or 'correct') refers to customary principles and behaviour. It governs how this space is used, from formal pōwhiri and whakatau to how manuhiri (you, the visitors) move around it every day. Learn about the visible – and invisible – ways that tikanga is at work in Te Ao Mārama, the new South Atrium.
The name of the Tanoa, Talitali ‘Au Moana, means ‘Offering from Moana People’. It is an impression of a Fijian kava bowl by architect Noel Lane and has been fostering conversation, exchange and reciprocity since its installation in 2006. Its dominating presence in Te Ao Mārama reminds visitors that Aotearoa New Zealand has whakapapa connections to the Pacific, and that many Pasifika peoples call Tāmaki Makaurau home. The space beneath it is now home to Under the Tanoa, an experience that explores the arrival stories of the three Mana Whenua iwi connected with the Museum.
Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum commissioned several new artworks – all of them by Māori and Pacific artists – for the new South Atrium. Each work has a role to play in the narrative or tikanga of the space, while still being an artwork in its own right. Learn more about the artists behind the works and see how they were made.