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Journal Articles & Research Papers

Hongi Hika: A Portrait 

Completed - Published June 2019

An academic article, focusing on the comparison of three (3) carved wooden busts, purported to be of Hongi Hika, as well as a background to Hongi's 1820 journey to England and Australia.

It is recorded that in August 1814, Hongi carved a wooden bust (self-portrait) whilst visiting Port Jackson (Sydney, Australia). There are three (3) carved wooden busts of Hongi Hika; these are held by: the Auckland Museum, New Zealand; Chau Chuk Wing Museum - University of Sydney, Australia; and the Brighton Museum - Brighton, England.

The question is posed - which of the three busts is the authentic 1814 'selfie' of Hongi?

Published in the Journal of Museum Ethnography No. 32, 2019, pp. 209-224.

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Hongi's Kakahu: Rangatira to Royalty 

A PhD-style thesis 

Investigatory Viewing completed - January 2019

Comprehensive Examination completed - October 2019

Researching and writing process has begun - November 2019

Additional research trip conducted in April 2022

Envisaged publication date December 2023


Now a PhD-style thesis, this is a detailed examination of Hongi Hika's kakahu (woven flax cloak) at the British Museum, has been undertaken, resulting in two outcomes:


1. A research paper/journal article focusing on a) the meeting between Hongi Hika, Waikato and King George IV, b) the practice of 'tuku' or reciprocal gifting, and c) a detailed description of the kakahu's whakapapa; including the construction materials and methods of weaving used. This research paper/journal article will be published in both English and Te Reo Maori, and

2. A re-creation of this significant taonga (cultural treasure) will be made, enabling this stunning cloak to be brought home to Aotearoa, to be loved and appreciated by all New Zealanders.

To date, an initial viewing has been undertaken by Hongi's Hikoi Director - Brent Kerehona in early January 2019, followed by a preliminary examination in October 2019, by Brent, korowai-weaver Rae Midwood, research-assistant Louise Broadman, and Hongi's Hikoi Co-Director - Delise Kerehona.


There is a plan for a more comprehensive examination to be completed by Tohunga Raranga (Master Weaver) Te Hemo Ata Henare and Dr Donna Campbell in January 2020 (which has been postponed due to Covid-19 international travel restrictions).

The research and writing of the research paper/journal article by Brent Kerehona has begun and was initially expected to be completed by December 2020, and published by June 2021; however due to Covid international travel restrictions, this has now been changed to April, and June 2022 respectively.


The physical weaving of the re-creation of Hongi's kakahu, by Rae Midwood, began in March 2021.

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Left: Brent Kerehona uncovers Hongi's Kakahu (which he personally gifted to King George IV, at Carlton House on November 13 1820) at the off-location storage site in January 2019. Acknowledgement goes to curator, James Hamill, for his assistance and the photo is courtesy of Stuart Lloyd (c) 2019.

Right: Examining Hongi's kakahu, assisted by Louise Broadman (research assistant), Rae Midwood (raranga korowai/korowai weaver) and Delise Kerehona (Co-Director) at the British Museum, Bloomsbury, London, in October 2019. Acknowledgement goes to curator, Jill Hasell, for her assistance and the photo is courtesy of James (c) 2019.

Background image:

Photographer: Brent Kerehona (2019-20)

Design Illustrator: Tess Begg (2020).

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