Although Derek Lardelli is best known as a Tā moko artist, his work ranges across a variety of media and cultural consultancy roles. Derek was the commissioning artist for the magnificent Maui sculptures that adorn his tribal mountain Hikurangi, along with other design and sculptural works created for national and international clients including the New Zealand Olympics team to Athens, the Commonwealth games team to Australia most recently the New Zealand Embassy in Cairo.
Derek’s design skills have been recognised by many. He works alongside small businesses and large corporations, such as Air New Zealand, for whom he designed the Māori motif incorporated into staff uniforms and the patterning used throughout their Corporate branding, soon to be seen on the paintwork of AirNZ planes.
Derek has emerged as a composer of note, having written winning songs, chants and haka. He was author of the much debated All Blacks haka “Kapa-o-pango” and continues to research and write of tribal histories and whakapapa. His art works can been seen in several publications including Manawa, Mataora, The New Zealand Historical Atlas and Songs of Waitaha.
As a fluent speaker of Māori his commitment is to the culture, language and customs of his ancestors. This means building strong connections to the land, marae and people, to his whanau, hapu and iwi. Derek Lardelli is actively involved in many facets of Te Ao Māori and continues to work as a practising artist.