Rua Pick playing his alphorn-like trumpet in celebration of the name Te Huanui for Darfield’s art gallery

Art gallery’s new name

by Ann van Engelen

The Selwyn Gallery officially took the new name of Te Huanui, on Friday, November 1.

“The te reo Maori name Te Huanui, meaning the pathway, road, or highway was presented to us by Te Taumutu Runanga,” said Malvern Community Arts Council chairperson, Philip Baldwin.

“In 2018 the decision to seek a te reo Maori name for the gallery was suggested to the MCAC executive, and we approached the runanga for their input. Historically ‘Te Huanui’ refers to the network of trails that Maori settlers used to travel southwards across the Canterbury Plains.”

The name also suggests new trails and new pathways that will be made by future generations.

“These connect well with the gallery’s mission. We follow the historic trails of artistic technique, experience, and inspiration, and we encourage new methods, materials and skills in the community of artists around us.

“When the Selwyn Gallery opened in 1998, it was the only art gallery to support artists in the district. That situation has changed, and we have taken the opportunity to include Art Gallery in Darfield in our new logo to say concisely what we are and where we are located.

“Te Huanui is also a reminder that te reo Maori is becoming a greater part of New Zealand’s identity in the use of words such as kai, tamariki, whanau, aroha, Te Papa for the Museum of New Zealand in Wellington, and Turanga, Christchurch’s new central library.

“The Malvern Community Arts Council was a forward-thinking group in the late 1970s. Broadening our cultural and linguistic awareness with the adoption of the name Te Huanui, is, I believe, entirely consistent with their innovative way of thinking and working.”

For more information about the name change visit