Kelly Kahukiwa (Ngāti IO, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngai Tūhoe and Te Aitanga -ā Māhaki) is an artist, musician, intercultural leader and indigenous researcher.
Kelly’s artistic practice spans a wide range of contemporary and traditional forms including taonga whakairo and taonga pūoro. He is an experienced performer and cultural teacher who explores and exhibits his sound and visual arts practice across a wide range of contexts.
In addition, he has over twenty years of experience working in leadership roles including significant roles in intercultural mediation, cultural capacity building, urban marae leadership and inter-operational management. He is also an experienced intercultural and youth educator who is fluent in spoken and written Te Reo Māori as well as Tikanga Maori.
Kelly initiated Te Reo Ngaro o te Rākau/The Hidden Voices of Trees as a way to reconnect people back into the native bush environment, using indigenous research methods and scientific listening devices, on a range of native tree species. Listening to tree audio emissions at ultra-frequencies may unlock extra clues to behaviour in native species during events, including drought, water uptake, chronobiological cycles, seasonal variations and invasive pathogen crises.
Te Reo Ngāro o te Rākau is also dedicated to searching for rhythmic communications/interactions to revitalise NZ indigenous music. Tree rhythms, as well as the methodology of their discovery, will be shared with hapū/Iwi so the practise may continue with their own rangatahi leading the way.