The Gallery's Māori Advisory Group Haerewa was established in 1994.

'Haerewa' translates as the 'first cut' of the tāmoko (tattoo) artist, and taking this name equates the group with cutting-edge activities.

Comprising pre-eminent Māori artists, academics and cultural figures, Haerewa is a voice for Māori artists and Māori art. The group's aim is to provide cultural advice to the Gallery, to raise the profile of Māori in the Gallery and to foster an environment that encourages Māori to use and enjoy the Gallery.

Over the last two decades Haerewa has played a vital role in the Gallery's life. Its members have been instrumental in the establishment of the role of Indigenous Curator, Māori Art; have generously taken on the roles of kaumatua (the late Arnold Wilson) and kuia (foundation chair, Elizabeth Ellis, CNZM); and have provided support for major exhibitions of Māori art, including Korurangi (1995), Goldie (1997), Hotere (1998), Purangiaho (2001), Te Hei Tiki (2005), Turuki Turuki! Paneke Paneke! (2008), Modern Māori (2011) and Five Māori Painters (2014).

Haerewa member Bernard Makoare was Māori design consultant to the Gallery's redevelopment project, from which emerged the innovative ‘Māori dimension’ of the new building – a group of three permanent artworks commissioned from Arnold Manaaki Wilson with Anthony Wilson, Fred Graham and Lonnie Hutchinson, which are found at the principal internal and external thresholds of the Gallery.

In 2014, members of Haerewa travelled to Berlin, Germany to represent Māori and the Gallery at the opening ceremonies of Gottfried Lindauer: The Māori Portraits at Alte Nationalgalerie. In May 2015, representatives travelled to Pilsen, Czech Republic for the exhibition Gottfried Lindauer: Pilsen Painter of the New Zealand Māori at the Gallery of West Bohemia.


Elizabeth Aroha Ellis 
Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou CNZM JP

Elizabeth Ellis is dedicated to promoting, developing and supporting Māori through education and the arts. She trained at Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland and is chair of Haerewa. She has held trustee positions on the New Zealand Arts Foundation for seven years, CNZ Council for three years and Chair of Te Waka Toi, the Māori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand for nine years (1994–2006). She is Chair of the Hundertwasser and Wairau Maori Art Gallery, Māori Advisory Panel and she has been a Life Member of the Auckland Institute and Museum since 1964. Elizabeth is the chair of the Toi Iho Charitable Trust.


Fred Graham
Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, Ngāti Raukawa ONZM

Fred Graham is an extraordinary tohunga and contemporary sculptor. He is highly regarded as an important contemporary Māori artist. His paintings and sculptural works are many and varied. Fred was part of the close collective of Māori artists who explored ways of blending traditional Māori art with contemporary European modernism in the 1960s. At the same time he worked as an art advisor and specialist in schools in the Rotorua and Northland regions of New Zealand and was eventually involved in teacher training. He has participated in major art exhibitions in the USA, Canada and the Pacific. Fred is Te Ara Whakarei, a Lifetime Member of Toi Iho, the trademark of authenticity and quality Māori art.


Patu Hohepa
Ngāpuhi, Te Mahurehure

Dr Patu Hohepa is a retired Professor of Māori language at The University of Auckland, former Māori Language Commissioner of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and a highly respected academic. He has dedicated more than 50 years of his life researching, developing, lecturing and advocating for the revitalisation of te reo Māori. He works tirelessly for hapū and iwi Māori. He is a member of numerous educational trusts and roopu. He was a member of Te Waka Toi and is on the Hundertwasser and Wairau Maori Art Gallery, Māori Advisory Panel. He has lectured, presented papers and travelled widely, nationally and internationally promoting indigenous linguistic issues, politics, history and culture. Patu is a powerful voice of Te Kotahitanga hapū of Ngāpuhi and Te Tai Tokerau.


Mere Lodge
Ngāti Porou

Mere was educated in Ruatoria and then was taught in her final year by Selwyn Wilson and her sister Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira at Northland College. She attended Elam School of Fine Arts at The University of Auckland and trained as a secondary school art teacher. She was a Māori arts educator of Te Reo Māori at Epsom Teacher Training, Auckland. She has supported the Gallery by engaging with the Māori community through research and gaining permissions from the many descendants of both Goldie and Lindauer portrait sitters. She has been a member of Haerewa since its inception in 1994.


Bernard Makoare
Ngāti Whātua

Bernard Makoare is currently Project Manager, Ngati Whatua Heru Hapai: Te Runanga o Ngāti Whatua and Secretary of Tama te Uaua marae, Kaihu. He is a newly appointed to Puatatangi Committee of Toi Māori Creative New Zealand. He is an artist, designer and musician. Bernard is Te Ara Whakarei, a Lifetime Member of Toi Iho, the trademark of authenticity and quality Māori art.


Lisa Reihana
Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tū MNZM

Lisa Reihana is a dynamic multi-disciplinary artist who has had a leading role in the development of film and multimedia art in Aotearoa New Zealand. She exhibits nationally and internationally and has won a number of prestigious residencies. She attended Elam School of Fine Arts at The University of Auckland and completed a Masters in Design from the School of Visual Art and Design, UNITEC in 2014. Lisa is Te Ara Whakarei, a Lifetime Member of Toi Iho, the trademark of authenticity and quality Māori art.