Erina McCann is a Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Ruapani wahine from Tūranganui-a-Kiwa |Gisborne, Aotearoa New Zealand, with over thirteen years’ experience working in the cultural sector in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. As a trained conservator living on the unceded lands of the Bunurong/Boon Wurrung Peoples in Naarm | Melbourne, Erina works from a Te Ao Māori lens, consulting across diverse heritage communities, to embed intercultural practices and create space for community-centric and collaborative conservation and cultural collection care practice in Australia and across the moana.
Kararaina Te Ira
Kararaina Te Ira He uri au o ngā tūpuna mai ngā waka ō Tainui, Te Arawa, Kurahaupō, Takitimu me Tokomaru. Ko Kararaina Parerohi Rāhui Te Ira taku ingoa. Ko te mahi tautiaki tāku nei whainga roa.
I mahi ahau i roto Aotearoa, ki tā wāhi hoki, hei hāpai i ngā kaupapa tūhonohono ki waenganui ngā taonga me ngā hāpori. Otirā, ko te oranga o ngā taonga ā iwi, tāku tino mahi. Ko te mahi penapena taonga, te mahi tiaki taonga, āku nei pūkenga matua.
Kararaina has a firm connection to her whakapapa in both Te Ika a Maui (North Island) and Te Waka a Maui (South Island). After training as an art historian, Kararaina transitioned into cultural material conservation, obtaining her master’s degree in conservation from the University of Melbourne, focusing on textiles and objects. In her capacity as a heritage professional, Kararaina has worked with numerous arts, cultural and heritage institutions throughout New Zealand and abroad, with a notable example including Rauru, Māori meeting house displayed in Museum am Rothenbaum of Hamburg. Kararaina has curated numerous exhibitions in New Zealand where women have been the central focus. In her 2018 Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre exhibition, she explored the cross-section between astronomy and female narratives. Additional projects include the permanent exhibition at Puke Ariki, titled Ko Taku Poi te Manu, which explores wāhine Māori and their practice of poi as a cultural tool to transmit political and historical messages. Kararaina is now the director of Hokitika Museum after working as Senior Adviser for Protected Objects where she established in 2019 the new framework for the Conservation of Taonga Tūturu Programme. Kararaina continues to operate Penapena Taonga, an independent conservation practice that has been operating since 2016.