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A touring multi-media exhibition amplifying Maaori* women’s voices around Aotearoa is coming to Hamilton Central Library from Saturday 12 November – Sunday 11 December 2022.

The exhibition, called Wāhine, offers our communities the opportunity to be enriched by their life stories while fostering mutual understanding.  

Here in Hamilton Kirikiriroa, Te Rita Papesch (Waikato-Maniapoto, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Whakaue, Czech) joins the kaupapa and the exhibition's journey around the North Island.  

“I'm proud that as a Maaori woman, everything I've done, I have also enjoyed. It's been hard, it's been a struggle, but it's been so much fun. And again, I know I am filling up the pot that will be left for my descendants," said Te Rita Papesch  

Through personalised sound stories and portrait photography, Wāhine is an immersive exhibition inviting communities to come together, be inspired, and learn from the raw, honest, and vulnerable stories of Maaori women.  

The stories touch on their joys and inspirations, their troubles and tribulations, and the resilience that has moulded them into the women they are. The powerful words of each interview are woven together with real-life recordings captured by the women themselves and exhibited alongside a photography portrait of each wahine.  

“My hope in creating this work is that Wāhine will not only inspire empathy for the stories we hear, but reflect that same empathy onto ourselves. Because I do believe it is through empathy and respect that we can start to acknowledge each other,” said Loren Pasquier, Wāhine Creative Director. 

While it travels around Aotearoa, Wāhine expands each time it changes locations by inviting a wahine from a local iwi to join the kaupapa and hold space for the other women. Hamilton Kirikiriroa is the second of eight North Island centres to exhibit Wāhine. Te Rita’s story will join nine other waahine who shared their stories and toured the South Island, and our first North Island centre, Hawkes Bay. 

Hamilton City Council Community Services Unit Director Rebecca Whitehead said this is an incredible opportunity for the community to learn more about the stories of these incredible Maaori women while also supporting our library community.

“This exhibition will bring with it a chance for Hamiltonians to listen to and learn from these strong and impactful wahine stories,” she said. “We’re proud to be able to host this exhibition at Hamilton Central Library and provide a space for the stories of these strong and impactful wahine stories to be told and we encourage all Hamiltonians to seize the opportunity to come along.”

A public workshop, ‘Wāhine Hamilton - Our Stories’, will be held on the exhibition's opening day, Saturday 12 November from 10am - midday. Facilitated by the creators of Wāhine, the workshop offers a morning of storytelling and connection, drawing on the exhibition’s kaupapa and bringing in some knowledge and stories in Te Ao Maaori. This free to attend workshop welcomes all (ages 16+), held at Hamilton Central Library. Bookings are essential at:  

Follow our journey on or on social media @thewovenwomen.


*Hamilton City Council uses double vowels in te reo Maaori to represent a long vowel sound as it is the preference of Waikato-Tainui. As Wāhine is the name of the exhibition, the macron stays.  

  • Wāhine, will exhibit at Hamilton Central Library - Te Koopuu Maania O Kirikiriroa, 9 Garden Place, Hamilton Central, Hamilton 
  • Open to the public from Saturday 12 November - Sunday 11 December during Library open hours
  • Entry is FREE 
  • To experience the exhibition, audio guides with headphones are provided. You may bring your own headphones and smartphone to access the audio-stories via QR code.  

Central Library opening hours

Monday: 9.30am - 5.30pm 

Tuesday: 9.30am - 5.30pm 

Wednesday: 9.30am - 5.30pm 

Thursday: 9.30am - 8pm 

Friday: 9.30am - 5.30pm 

Saturday: 9.30am - 5pm 

Sunday: 9.30am - 5pm 


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