Jump to content
  • Craft/Object
  • Visual Arts

Wharenui Harikoa

1 Dec, 2023 – 17 Mar, 2024

The most vibrant and colourful wharenui you will ever see is coming to Waikato Museum!

Over the past eight years, husband and wife duo Lissy Robinson-Cole (Ngaati Hine, Ngaati Kahu) and Rudi Robinson-Cole (Ngaruahine, Te Arawa, Ngaati Paaoa, Waikato ki Tai) have been using their creative energies to explore maatauranga Maaori and their personal whakapapa through crocheted sculptural forms.

Wharenui Harikoa (House of Joy) is Lissy and Rudi’s most ambitious creation to date—a full-scale wharenui (meeting house) featuring vibrant poupou (wall pillars), tekoteko (carved human forms), tukutuku panels (patterned wall panels) and adorned pou tokomanawa (carved centre-post) completely crocheted by hand.

Bringing together bright, neon colours and traditional toi whakairo (Maaori carving) shapes, their mahi offers a new way of understanding the importance of joy and aroha within te ao Maaori. The aim of Wharenui Harikoa is to manifest intergenerational healing and deeply felt joy, one loop at a time, connecting all people and igniting joy globally.

Connecting their community stitch by stitch, Wharenui Harikoa is an ongoing project brought to life by a huge network of helpers—including contributions from international textile artists and a collaboration with Ootautahi Christchurch-based Outlaw Yarn to produce 300kg of custom hot pink yarn.

This exhibition of Wharenui Harikoa aims to explore the pain and loss we have all experienced in life while transporting the audience on a joyful and healing journey.


1 Dec, 2023 – 17 Mar, 2024
Open 10am to 5pm daily


Waikato Museum
1 Grantham Street
Hamilton Central

Ticket Info





Waikato Museum