Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Konohi, Ngai te Aweawe

Derek (centre), Queens Wharf, Auckland

Widely acclaimed and awarded artist, scholar, orator and educationalist, Tā Derek Lardelli has been instrumental in the practice and resurgence of tā moko established Te Uhi a Mataora, the national tā moko committee of Toi Māori Aotearoa, in 2000 and has been successively elected as a Trustee since 2003. Currently, Derek holds the unique role of Te Pukonohi on the Toi Māori Aotearoa Board, the delegated spokesperson on Māori arts matters.


Instrumental in the practice and resurgence of tā moko, Derek works tirelessly to protect and promote this sacred art form—locally, nationally and internationally—extending to the repatriation and ongoing care of toi moko.


A great leader, Derek has directed Whāngāra Mai Tawhiti kapa haka since 1995 winning the national title at Matatini 2017, and as Professor at Toihoukura, the tertiary Māori Visual Arts and Design programme at the Eastern Institute of Technology in Gisborne, has immersed several generations of Māori artists in a holistic philosophy of Māori art and cultural practice.


Derek has been at the forefront of major creative projects representing Māori on the international stage, most famously as the composer of the All Blacks haka, Kapa o Pango, and headed numerous delegations and cultural exchanges around the world.

Derek’s contribution to Māori art and cultural development has been recognised with top honours, awarded an Arts Foundation Laureate (2004 ), Te Waka Tohu Ake Award (2014), Te Tohu Tiketike o Matariki and Waiata Māori ‘Keeper of the Traditions’ ‘Icon’ award (2018) and knighted for services to Māori art in 2021.