New Zealand’s earliest artworks are now taking centre stage in the latest stamp release from New Zealand Post. The stamps, which feature Māori rock art designs, were developed in partnership with the Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Trust and artist, Dave Burke and were issued as part of the annual Matariki series, celebrating the Māori New Year.
Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Trust curator, Amanda Symon says that trustees were very excited to be approached by New Zealand Post.
“We saw it as an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of Māori rock art and to celebrate this incredible art form. We’d worked with Dave Burke before and we knew the rock art designs were in safe hands with him – he’s very mindful in his approach to these taonga. He’s also an extremely talented artist and the finished product is just stunning. It has a fresh, contemporary feel while respecting the integrity of the original artworks.”
This is not the first time that Māori rock art has featured on a stamp. The famous ‘Ōpihi Taniwha’ figure gained national prominence when it appeared on the two shilling stamp in 1963. Amanda Symon hopes the latest stamps will receive as much attention as taniwha stamp.
“One of the biggest problems in the management of the Māori rock art sites is that most people don’t even know they exist. Anything that we can do to raise awareness of these treasures, will help protect them for future generations,” she says. – www.teana.co.nz