Te Werowero Sculpture Purchase

$21,315 of $25,000 goal
Given by 129 generous donors in 6 weeks

Help us purchase Te Werowero, a significant sculpture by Chris Bailey, so it can remain permanently on Waiheke Island for all to enjoy.


Te Werowero – The Ongoing Challenge, is a bronze sculpture created by Waiheke artist, Chris Bailey as part of Sculpture On The Gulf 2019.

The work was originally installed as a temporary artwork at Matiatia Wharf and locals and visitors alike instantly fell in love with the piece. This prompted a ground swell of people supporting the idea to make Matiatia Wharf the sculpture's permanent home, so it can continue to greet island visitors for many years to come. Without Te Werowero there is no artwork (let alone a Māori artwork) presence or any official welcome as people arrive on beautiful Waiheke Island.

The artwork both welcomes and challenges those arriving on Waiheke to respect the island's culture, wāhi tapu (sacred places) and its fragile environment. The 'wero' - a questioning process by which the local people of an area establish the intent of their visitors - is the first stage of the formal Māori powhiri or welcome.

The figure in the artwork represents all people who choose to live on Waiheke and it does not represent any particular ancestor or tribal group. This figure is on guard acting as a Kaitiaki – Guardian for all on Waiheke.

Chris Bailey is of Ngāti Hako, Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāti Porou and Te Aupouri ancestry and the creation of this work was very personal to him with respect to Matiatia Bay due to his ongoing work over several years protecting the various urupa (Māori burial grounds) that both encircle Matiatia bay and Waiheke.

This project has the blessing of Ngāti Paoa, Piritahi Marae, the Waiheke Local Board and Auckland Transport and local polling showed 93% of respondents wanted the work to remain at Matiatia.

Help us make this a reality!

Dan Harrop's involvement (page creator)

We are raising money to fund the purchase of Chris Bailey's Te Werowero sculpture, which is temporarily displaying on Matiatia wharf, Waiheke Island.

The purchase will enable the magnificent sculpture to stay permanently and greet locals and visitors, every time they arrive on the Island, for many many years to come.

Use of funds

The sculpture itself costs $40,000 and this money with go to the artist. The balance will be used for a new higher stone plinth, a structural report and new foundations, consent fees, relocation costs, and a provision for ongoing maintenance.

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Latest update

WE GOT THERE!   7 June 2019

Approx 3 months ago I dipped my toe in the water to test whether, like me, others thought the beautiful and meaningful Te Werowero should stay permanently on Matiatia.

The responses to that Facebook page post reflected an overwhelming "yes" by the community.

Then the fundraising started .... and Barry Fenton (an unstoppable art fundraising force!) joined the journey with me.

I am so excited to say "WE GOT THERE!" .... through the support of generous individuals, families, local iwi, the local board, and organisations like "Sculpture on the Gulf", Waiheke Community Art Gallery, Fullers and AT. It has been a true community effort :-)

Having never done something like this before, I can honestly say I wasn't sure how the journey would go and whether we would get anywhere close to raising almost $50k in such a short time. However, the experience has been so positive and reaffirmed my love of Waiheke and why we live in this great community/on this beautiful island.

Thank you everyone.

PS - We have a fair bit of administration still to do, and will keep you posted once we have more details about the unveiling event (likely to be in early to mid July 2019).

PPS - Due to a private donation (outside of Givealittle) we have been able to close the page below the official Givealittle target of $25k.

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Latest donations

Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 07 Jun 2019
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 06 Jun 2019
let's do this - second round...
Herve on 05 Jun 2019
Fraser, Iris, Manu and Mihiara
Fraser, Iris, Manu and Mihiara on 05 Jun 2019
Helga on 03 Jun 2019

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Dan Harrop's avatar
Created by Dan Harrop
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Paying to a verified bank account of Waiheke Community Art Gallery (Group) on behalf of The people of Waiheke
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This page was created on 24 Apr 2019 and closed on 7 Jun 2019.