Professor Ahorangi Sir DEREK LARDELLI (PhD Hon) KNZM

Ngāti Porou (Ngāti Konohi) and Rongowhakaata (Ngai te Aweawe)

Visual Māori Artist, Tā Moko artist, painter, carver, kapahaka performer, orator, composer, graphic designer, researcher of whakapapa and oral histories, kaikōrero and educationalist.

The focus of Derek’s work is first and foremost in his connection to home, to Tairāwhiti, the Marae and in his role as Ahorangi Professor and mentor at Toihoukura, School of Visual Arts Maori, in Gisborne.

Professor Derek Lardelli is regarded as one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s finest exponents of the arts and has been prominent in explaining and promoting Māori arts to audiences in New Zealand, the Pacific and around the world. Derek continues to promote language revitalization within an arts context, portraying a future pathway for our youth.

He received an NZ Arts Foundation Laureate award in 2004. In 2006 achieved the highest mark on record to date for his Masters degree in Fine Arts through Canterbury University, was awarded the honour of Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in 2008 and received the Te Waka Toi Tohu Ake award for Making a Difference in the Arts in 2014. At the 2018 Maori Television Matariki awards Derek won the Arts and Entertainment section and was also named winner of Te Tohu Tiketike o Matariki, the Supreme award. The same year the Waiata Maori awards honored him as a ‘Keeper of the Traditions’ or ‘Icon’.

As chairperson for Te Uhi a Mataora Tā Moko Arts collective, he has been heavily involved in the retention and development of the rituals, karakia and oral histories associated with Tā Moko (traditional Maori skin marking). His knowledge of Tā Moko combined with advocacy for Toi Maori has assisted with the repatriation of Māori remains from international museums to burials at home, for example from Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, France in 2012 and 2018.

As an artist he has participated in and facilitated numerous exhibitions and workshops in New Zealand and around the world. In 2006, Derek was the inaugural Gallipoli Artist in Residence at the University of Canakkale, Turkey and in 2008 was the lead artist for Toi Māori, at the De Young Museum, San Francisco. He has led cultural exchanges with indigenous art schools to Canada, the USA and Japan and in 2015 Derek was Artist in residence at Notre Dame University, Indiana. At these venues and others, he exhibited and presented public lectures on various aspects of Māori Visual Arts and culture. He has led the New Zealand Tā Moko delegation to the quadrennial Pacific Festival of the Arts since 1992. He has headed many international delegations, including the NZ delegation to the Global Indigenous Peoples Performing Arts Festival in Taiwan (2016) and the 2018 Commonwealth Games New Zealand team opening ceremony.

As an artist and designer Derek has produced major art components for high profile installations such as the Maui sculptures on his tribal mountain, Hikurangi. He designed the fern motif for the uniform for New Zealand’s 2007 Commonwealth Games Team and created designs for Air New Zealand seen in airports worldwide. He has produced logos for several well-known companies, including Sealord and Water Safety New Zealand. Other examples of his cultural design components are the award winning Oneroa Walkway and the C Company 28th Māori Battalion Memorial House in Gisborne. Derek’s design input is prominent in several building structures and office areas nationwide including the Human Rights Commission office in Wellington, the Awarua Gisborne District Council building and the HB Williams Memorial Library in Gisborne. His work can also be seen internationally in places such as the New Zealand Embassy in Cairo and the Cook Islands Embassy. In 2017, Nga Manu o Rongo, was commissioned by Te Papa Tongarewa and Derek’s artwork now provides the entranceway to the Ko Rongowhakaata Exhibitionat the national museum in Wellington.

Derek is a researcher and composer of many waiata, haka and mōteatea that capture the oral histories of Te Tairāwhiti. Since 1995 he has been a composer, performer and leader of Whāngārā mai Tawhiti Kapa Haka. His group were the winners of the 2007 and the 2017 Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Competition.

Derek has worked with the All Blacks since 2005 and composed the Haka, Kapa O Pango, for the New Zealand All Blacks World Cup winning Rugby Team. He also composed the New Zealand Universities team haka “Wananga Toa”.

Currently a Trustee of Toi Maori Aotearoa, member of Te Papa Tongarewa’s Repatriation Advisory Panel and the NZ Olympic Committee Maori Advisory Committee Derek has served on the Waitangi Tribunal, was a Trustee of the NZ Arts Foundation and works at local level supporting many groups. In recognition of his varied community contributions Derek was named as a Gisborne ‘Local Hero’ and selected as a finalist in the 2019 New Zealander of the Year Local Hero section.

Rose Gould-Lardelli (B.Ed., Dip. Tchg., M. Arts Management)

Rose is Managing Director of Lardelli Arts. She and Derek work together to bring Lardelli Arts projects to fruition.

As well as managing arts projects Rose is the key contact person for people wanting to contact Derek or to make a purchase or booking. Rose and Derek live in Gisborne and have two adult children, Hinemihiata and Te Ahimanuka.

After a career in education Rose re-trained as an Arts Manager, gaining a Masters degree (1st class honours) from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design (2012).

As an educator Rose continues to maintain her passion for teaching and sharing knowledge. She facilitates workshops across a variety of subject areas, is a mentor for upcoming artists in the areas of business skills and is a part time lecturer for a masters level Treaty of Waitangi paper.

As an arts manager, part of her skill set is arranging commissions, particularly where a person,  group, whanau or company may want a special piece created that is a one-off design created to incorporate aspects that are important to the recipient of the artwork.  She regularly arranges  groups of artists for arts festivals or public demonstrations, having taken groups to New Zealand based events (such as the Auckland Arts Festival, Maori Market and the launch of the RNZ Navy ship Manawanui) and to international events (including the AirNZ launch of the Direct Route to Taipei, Australian Museum Tohora exhibition, Sky Television All Blacks documentary series, Exhibitions in Canada, Indiana, Japan, Australia, Singapore and other countries). 

Rose is often approached to organise and provide Kapa Haka performers for powhiri or event openings, or to provide talent for film or advertising projects. She says she enjoys being able to call on their extended networks to provide people who are culturally grounded and experts in their fields.

As an educator Rose continues to maintain her passion for teaching and sharing knowledge. She facilitates workshops across a variety of subject areas, is a mentor for upcoming artists in the areas of business skills, and is a part time lecturer for a masters level Treaty of Waitangi paper.