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DOC and key partners are launching an art exhibition to raise awareness of the Tamatea/Dusky Sound restoration programme in Fiordland.


Date:  14 September 2016

Tamatea/Dusky Sound is the focus of a cutting edge project to see it become one of the most intact ecosystems on Earth, and a source of endangered native species for conservation sites throughout the country.

In winter 2014 and summer 2015, DOC took 26 artists to this remote area to experience and learn about the restoration project. The exhibition, Tamatea - Art and Conservation in Dusky Sound, is the result of these visits. It features more than 50 original works by some of New Zealand's most renowned artists and emerging talent. Contributing artists include Nigel Brown, Gerda Leenards, Euan Macleod, Craig Potton, Janet de Wagt and Marilynn Webb. 

The exhibition will be launched on 8 November 2016 at Parliament by the Hon. Maggie Barry, Minister of Conservation; Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage. It will then travel to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery in Invercargill for a second opening on 16 December 2016. On 24 February 2017 it will embark on a national tour. Artists' work will be available for sale and all proceeds support Tamatea/Dusky Sound conservation and restoration projects.

Greg Lind, DOC Operations Manager in Fiordland said that Tamatea/Dusky Sound has a significant place in New Zealand history. Over many centuries southern iwi knew and visited this remote area leaving a rich history of place names and stories.

"The fiord was later named Tamatea after the captain of the northern waka, Takitimu. Later still, local Māori met James Cook during his time here in 1773; an encounter depicted by expedition artist William Hodges."

"When most New Zealanders think of Dusky Sound it's generally about the area's rich history, unique biodiversity or wild beauty. Not many would be aware of the conservation work still underway. We anticipate this exhibition will allow Tamatea's story to reach new audiences and inspire people to get involved."

"Individually, art and conservation are subjects many New Zealanders are passionate about, so the combination of the two is a powerful mix. We are particularly delighted to include Ngāi Tahu artists in this exhibition," Greg Lind said.

Renowned landscape photographer and conservationist, Craig Potton, said that artists can offer a new viewpoint of the land. "Artists teach us how to see the land. We think we see the world, then an artist comes along and helps us to see it a little differently. This exhibition offers a connection with a remote part of New Zealand, and the more people who connect with our wild places, the better their chance for long term conservation," he said.

Tamatea - Art and Conservation in Dusky Sound has been developed by DOC in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Ōraka Aparima, and is proudly supported by the New Zealand National Parks and Conservation Foundation.

Further information

  • Tamatea - Art & Conservation in Dusky Sound is curated by Wayne Marriott (Council Member, New Zealand Arts Council).
  • DOC has the goal "90% of New Zealanders' lives are enriched through connection to our nature". DOC is actively working towards this goal through education and outreach, and recognises the importance of the artist's voice in telling the New Zealand Conservation story.
  • The Dusky Sound Restoration Project is one of many programmes that support DOC's goal of protecting threatened species and making New Zealand predator free by 2050.
  • The NZ National Parks and Conservation Foundation invests in future-focused conservation projects, offering transparency, assurance and accountability for those looking to invest private money in New Zealand's natural heritage. The NZ National Parks and Conservation Foundation's primary role is to facilitate opportunities for individuals and businesses to contribute towards conserving New Zealand's natural heritage. More information on the National Parks website.


Kate Hebblethwaite, Senior Ranger (Community), Fiordland District Office
Phone: +64 3 249 0237

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