Mātauranga Māori and tikanga Māori expert, Shane Te Ruki (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato, Ngāti Porou) has been appointed to the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa (Creative New Zealand) for a three-year-term.
Mr Te Ruki’s early career began as a carver specialising in bone, stone, shell and fibre jewellery and creating artworks with hue. He was an early Toi Iho Māori Made Mark artist.
He has previously worked for Te Wānanga o Raukawa as a Kaihautū for Te Whare Kōkiri; an academic faculty specialising in mātauranga Māori. He has also worked with Te Papa Tongarewa and Tainui Waka Alliance as a Maniapoto subject expert and then took on the role of the Kaiwhakahaere Iwi Exhibition Manager. His time with Te Papa Tongarewa led to travelling internationally as the cultural knowledge expert to ritually open or close Te Papa’s exhibitions, give public lectures, and act in an ambassadorial role.
His governance experience includes having been a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa, the New Zealand Conservation Authority Te Pou Atawhai Taiao o Aotearoa, the Nehenehenui Regional Management Committee of the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board, and the Te Arawai Steering Establishment Committee. He is currently Chair of Te Kōpua Marae Trust.
Mr Te Ruki is the Iwi Relations Advisor to the Waipa District Council. His knowledge of whakapapa and the importance of whanaungatanga are at the forefront of his role that connects multiple representative mana whenua and the Council while enabling the strengthening and growth of relationships.
“I have no doubt that Shane Te Ruki’s deep knowledge of Mātauranga Māori and tikanga Māori combined with this broad governance expertise will be a major asset to the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa and we are fortunate to have him on board,” said Pou Mataaho o Te Aka Deputy Chief Executive, Policy and Sector Performance, Emily Fabling.