Kaumātua disgusted at gallery’s efforts to show colonial painting, citing racism

It’s one of the most famous paintings of the Taranaki land wars but a New Plymouth gallery has been told exhibiting the piece would perpetuate propaganda that encouraged racism against Māori.

The prominent oil painting, View of Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand, taken from New Plymouth, with Maoris (sic) driving off settlers’ cattle, was painted in 1861 by Englishman, William Strutt.

It is understood New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is currently in talks with Wellington’s Te Papa, which bought the painting in 2015 for $1.5 million, about securing it for exhibition in April, 2019.

Kaumātua Peter Moeahu said the painting denigrates Māori and expected the gallery not to exhibit it.


Taranaki kaumātua Peter Moeahu is against the painting being exhibited and had an expectation the gallery would take his opinion seriously.

“By exhibiting this painting the Govett Brewster Art Gallery perpetuates colonialist’s propaganda that encouraged state sponsored racism against Māori,” he said.

[Oh look – It’s the same Peter Moeahu from our last article!]

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