Two William Colenso College students are thrilled their missing artworks have finally found their way home from a Wellington exhibition.

Year 11 student Izaiah Taputoro was "gutted" when told his original painting had gone missing after being shown in a showcase of student Maori art in Wellington.

However, Izaiah and Year 12 student Paris Tawaka's work finally turned up earlier this week, more than a fortnight later than expected.

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William Colenso College head of art Laura Jackson said both NZQA and New Zealand Couriers had been very apologetic.

"It seems their art had been sitting forgotten in a warehouse somewhere and the media coverage of their loss spurred a more thorough search. We're thrilled to have them back," Jackson said.

Both works were shown in NZQA's showcase, Ringa Toi, in Wellington from September 25 to October 4.

Art teacher Laura Jackson (left), and Tracey Morgan of NZQA at the Ringa Toi exhibition with Izaiah Taputoro's work that went missing. Photo / Supplied
Art teacher Laura Jackson (left), and Tracey Morgan of NZQA at the Ringa Toi exhibition with Izaiah Taputoro's work that went missing. Photo / Supplied

Ringa Toi is an annual exhibition of the artwork of secondary school students with a focus on Toi Māori, with hundreds of pieces being sent in from 48 high schools across the country.

Works include a range of Māori art forms including raranga, kākahu (wearable art), tukutuku, tāniko, whakairo, kōwhaiwhai, mahi-tā (paint, print, spray), uku, whakapakoko (sculpture) and mahi-matihiko (digital).

The work will now be shown in a Hawke's Bay exhibition of student Maori art at the Hastings Community Arts Centre from November 11 to 22.

"It gives our students a chance to show off their work to the local community and their family and friends who weren't able to make it to the exhibition in Wellington," Jackson said.

Hawke's Bay schools contributing work to the show include William Colenso, Napier Boys' High, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga, Sacred Heart, Tamatea High, St Joseph's Maori Girls' and Taikura Rudolf Steiner.

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