Tuti Tukaokao



  • Carving
  • Whakairo


  • Customwood/MDF


  • H2230 x W2880mm

Tuti Tukaokao (Ngāti Ranginui, Te Arawa), 'Maui' (1981), McDonald's, Rotorua.

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022


In 1981 McDonald's Rotorua commissioned Tuti Tukaokao to produce artworks for their new building. Tukaokao created a total of 3 pou, 5 murals, 7 kōwhaiwahi panels and other internal carvings. He also completed an external sculpture in 1997.

“This carving illustrates the story of the great Māori demi God, Maui, slowing the speed at which the sun traversed the sky to give his people time to cultivate their crops. It is a favourite legend of old.

Here, Tuti has included members of his family in the form of Papatuanuku – Mother Earth, Tawhirimatea – God of Storms, Tangaroa – the Sea God, and Tumatauenga – the God of War and Fire.

The carving depicts Maui, surrounded by his family using the magic net to perform his celebrated task.”

Source: Plaque in situ