Taonga Pūoro

Staff and students at Waikato have a history of bridging musical worlds by bringing traditional Māori instruments, ngā taonga pūoro, into their works.

Thanks to the generosity of benefactors Emeritus Professor Ian Graham and Agi Lehár-Graham, the University of Waikato recently commissioned eminent taonga pūoro maker Brian Flintoff to create an exceptional collection of some fifty instruments. The collection was formally welcomed to the University in 2016 and this year will be utilised in the teaching of two papers by the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

2017 Papers

TIKA241 Te Ao Oro: The Māori World of Sound
This paper introduces students to the traditional instruments of the Māori and the rituals around their use. A strong practical element is included, in which students will make their own instruments, learn their history and start to create their compositional voice.

Course dates:
Wānanga 1: March 10 - 12; Wānanga 2: April 28 - 30; Wānanga 3: May 12 - 14
Each wānanga will be at the following times:
Friday 5pm-9pm; Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 9am-12pm

TIKA341 Ngā Taonga Pūoro mai i te Ao Tawhito ki te Ao Hou: Ancient and Contemporary Music of the Māori
This paper further examines traditional instruments of the Māori and their connection to the Māori world. A strong practical element is included in which students create their own compositions.

Course dates:
Wānanga 1: July 21-23; Wānanga 2: August 25-27; September 15-17
Each wānanga will be at the following times:
Friday 5pm-9pm; Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 9am-12pm

Course Content and Entry Requirements

Thanks to the specialist knowledge of players and scholars such as Richard Nunns and Horomoana Horo, new students are taught to respect the instruments - learning about the relevant tikanga (cultural traditions) as well as traditional performance techniques.

TIKA241 and TIKA341 are both taught in English with Māori terminology introduced as needed. They are open to all students regardless of experience or background. A warm welcome is extended to anyone wanting to learn about Māori music and these unique instruments.

Enrolment & Contact Information

You can submit an application to enrol online or to discuss your study options, contact the Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies on 07 838 4737 or email

For more information about the collection contact the Taonga puoro kaitiaki/Collection curators:
Associate Professor Martin Lodge and Horomona Horo