Robert Jahnke

Ta Te Whenua

Ta Te Whenua by Robert Jahnke

Artwork Detail

Huge rubber stamps with monumental wooden handles stand on an aerial photograph of a small Wairarapa town near Wellington. The streets of Martinborough were laid out in the nineteenth century in a precise grid whose pattern resembles the British Union Jack and the stamps send a powerful and resounding message - 'NOT NEGOTIABLE'. In 1995 the New Zealand Government suggested a one-off cash settlement to Mäori to resolve long-standing land grievances. The package, termed the 'Fiscal Envelope', offered a 'full and final' cash settlement for land losses, to a maximum of one billion dollars. This created considerable public debate among Mäori and Päkehä and Tä Te Whenua is Jahnke's contribution to the discussion. The offer was eventually rejected and Jahnke's project is to point out significant shifts in relationships between indigenous people and New Zealand's post-colonial settler culture, thus stimulating new areas of dialogue. 'I create work and hope that people can come to terms with it . . . If other meanings are brought to the work then that's an added bonus'. Of German, Samoan, Irish and Mäori heritage, Jahnke was born at Waipiro Bay on the East Coast of the North Island. He teaches in the Mäori Studies Department of Massey University, a faculty which provides stimulus and challenge to a new generation of artists. (from The Guide, 2001)

Ta Te Whenua
Robert Jahnke
Production date
exotic timber, custom board, photographic paper, rubber
2000 x 2000 x 1500 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1995
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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