Born in Northland in 1942, Buck Nin attended the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts during 1961–62, thereafter going to the University of Canterbury, where he trained under Rudi Gopas and gained a Diploma of Fine Arts from Ilam in 1966.
That same year, Nin initiated *New Zealand Māori Culture and the Contemporary Scene* at Canterbury Museum, one of the earliest exhibitions of contemporary Māori art in Aotearoa.
Committed to the revival of Māori culture, he also worked on the restoration of *Rongopai*, the painted ancestral house of leader and founder of the Ringatū religion, Te Kooti.
In his paintings, Nin incorporated motifs drawn from Māori carving, weaving and rafter patterns. His best-known work incorporates large lattice-like structures embedded in the landscape, which evoke a spiritual presence in the environment.