Some of New Zealand's finest female Maori artists have join Dutch master Rembrandt at Whangarei Art Museum, with the opening of Waitangi Wahine.

The provocative exhibition was curated last year in response to the 175th anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi). It looked at the impact of Te Tiriti on modern Maori lives.

Waitangi Wahine curator Chriss Doherty-McGregor said the five contributing artists - Robyn Kahukiwa, Linda Munn, Suzanne Tamaki, Tracey Tawhiao and Andrea Hopkins - had reputations for pushing boundaries.

"It makes you think about the Treaty and what it means, and what it has meant for us a nation, both Maori and Pakeha," Ms Doherty-McGregor said. "Together the artists featured here provide political statements on this debate, on the significance and status of Aotearoa New Zealand's founding document and the intention, spirit or principles of the Treaty."


The exhibition would slot in alongside Rembrandt Remastered, an exhibition featuring digital reproductions of 57 of the Dutch artist's works. Each has been "remastered", as accurately as possible, to reflect what the painting looked like at the time it was completed in the 17th century. This runs until July 17 across two venues, WAM and Reyburn House.

A third exhibition, Pura Te Manihera McGregor - Whenua ki te Whenua, also opened at WAM last week. The exhibition was in response to the life and legacy of Whanganui's Pura Te Manihera McGregor.

An important part of Pura's legacy was the bequest of her personal taonga, now housed by the Whanganui Regional Museum. This new body of work, created by Auckland-based artist Alexis Nea, featured a hand-coloured photographic portrait of Pura herself. Pura was born in 1855. Both shows opened on Friday.