Tuti Tukaokao

b. 1929d. 2001

Tuti Tukaokao was born in Tauranga and was of of Ngati Ranginui and Te Arawa decent. His main hapu links were with "Ngaitamarawaho of Judea and Ngati Hangarau of Bethlehem."

"In 1966 Tukaokao and John Taiapa were appointed as the foundation carvers for the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, a place where Tukaokao was to spend the next 22 years instructing others in the art of carving." (National Library)

Tukaokao is recognised for his involvement with the carving of 26 meeting houses, four waka taua (war canoes) and numerous commission works for local and international, civic and educational facilities.

Tuti Tukaokao, 'Untitled' 1981 (Kowhaiwhai panels) Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand 2022