Creativity and Curation


A desire to find local taonga lost from memory led Toihoukura Māori Visual Art and Design School Associate Professor Steve Gibbs on his research journey – one that also took him to Europe.

The taonga Steve went in search of were hoe (waka paddles) and a woven cloak acquired by James Cook at a meeting with local Māori on board  the HMS Endeavour, while it lay becalmed off the coast of Gisborne, not far from where EIT Tairawhiti’s Toihoukura, School of Māori Visual Arts, is now situated.


Matthew Marshall, Professor of Music and Head of EIT Ideaschool has recently focused on publishing, performing and recording the works of New Zealand classical guitar composers to international audiences.Driven by a need to create a sense of identity for guitar music from New Zealand, Matthew’s research involves collaboration with New Zealand classical guitar composers who he has commissioned specifically to write for him. He then performs and records their music in New Zealand and overseas.

Archive projects

A prestigious Judith Binney Writing Award has ensured that a significant EIT research project seeking to preserve historical Hawke’s Bay Māori manuscripts can continue.

Research Professor David Tipene-Leach and Te Reo Māori researcher and Twist Library archivist, Waitangi Teepa, won the award, which is given by the Judith Binney Trust to support research and writing on New Zealand history. Judith Binney was a renowned New Zealand historian.

EIT Professor's biography on extraordinary Bay woman

Anna Elizabeth Jerome Spencer, known simply as Bessie to her family, was a visionary woman known for her energy and her pioneering approach to educating young girls.

Credited with being the founder of the New Zealand Women’s Institute, where she was known as Jerome Spencer, she lived a life of discovery, uninhibited by the constraints and norms of the society in which she lived.

That extraordinary life is the subject of a biography written by former EIT Research Professor Kay Morris Matthews, now Professor Emeritus, who has sought to capture the many layers and complexities of this born and bred Hawke’s Bay native.