Jo Porter – Carver

"I've worked in Whangarei and Northland for 15 years. In that time I've created many pieces both large and small."

Whakairo rakau is the Maori art of woodcarving and has been a cultural vessel for centuries. The unique designs and patterns of carving, and their meanings, are a way of telling Maori history.

Jo was first apprenticed to Allan Nopera (Ngati Whatua/Ngati Kahu). He later moved to Hikurangi near Whangarei with a view to learning under a new kaiako (teacher) and teaching  new apprentices. Jo eventually met Peter Kraus who became his sponsor for a year.  In 2007, Peter asked him to return to the Purerua peninsular in Kerikeri (Ngati Rehia) where he carved a Tane Te Waiora from a 4.5m macrocarpa stump. Jo later worked with  Shane Whatarau (Ngati Hau), including  carving his whare tupuna (ancestral meeting house).