Selwyn Muru

b. 1936d. 2024

Also known as:

  • Herewini Murupaenga

Selwyn Muru (Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kurī) was born in Te Hāpua in the Far North, of Te Aupōuri and Ngāti Kurī descent.

His life’s work spans radio broadcast, drama, acting, set design, sculpture, painting, poetry and whaikōrero (formal oratory).

As both a journalist and artist, Selwyn has focused on communicating Māori stories and mythologies, history, contemporary life and ongoing injustices. The paintings in his Parihaka series (1975–79) tell the story of passive resistance from a Māori perspective. His work has been similarly outspoken on the issues of nuclear testing in the Pacific and the apartheid regime in South Africa.

In 1990, Muru received Te Waka Toi’s Te Tohu mō Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu Award for his contributions to Māori visual art, broadcasting, journalism and whaikōrero.

See also:

Selwyn Muru (Ngāpuhi, Te Aupōuri), ‘Waharoa’ (1990/2010) [from Queen Street], Aotea Square, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021