Tuti Tukaokao

Lost - whereabouts unknown


  • Carving
  • Whakairo


  • Customwood/MDF


  • Unknown


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 mural is part of a diptych, the accompanying panel featuring Hatu Patu is still located in situ. This piece can be seen in a photograph published in Damien Skinner's The Carver and the Artist (2008, p172-3).

“Hatu Patu and Kurangaituku: this carving tells the story of these characters. Hatu Patu was making his way home from the Atiamuri area. He was captured by Kurangaituku, a bird priestess. Hatu Patu escaped form Kurangaituku's cave but was pursued by her as he made his way to where the Taupo/Tokoroa intersection is today. He hid behind a large rock and her claws made great scratches on its surface, which can still be seen today. When they eventually came to Whakarewarewa near Rotorua, Kurangaituku made a final dive for Hatu Patu. He dived into a pool of cold water. She missed and ended her life in a hot pool nearby. These pools can still be seen today. The 'door' serving as Hatu Patu's refuge is an integral part of this lively mural. “

Source: plaque in situ