Riki graduated from the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua in 1979 after completing a three-year apprenticeship, then attended Wellington Business School. He continued carving in Christchurch, New Zealand, establishing Te toi Mana Māori Art Gallery in 1985. He has tutored and lectured at many institutions throughout New Zealand.
He has participated in carving demonstrations in Singapore (1986), San Diego, California (1992), Belgium (1996), the Netherlands (1998) and at the South Pacific Festival of Arts (1990/2000) in New Caledonia. Among his completed commissions are a 7½-metre (twenty-five-foot) poupou (totem pole) for Christchurch’s Victoria Square (1995), carved and painted wall panels for the University of Canterbury in Christchurch (1988), waka taua (war canoe) for Millennium 2000 and a wall panel for Christchurch International Airport (2002). One of the leading carvers in New Zealand, his work is highly collected both in New Zealand and overseas. He participated in “Kiwa-Pacific Connections” (2003) in Vancouver, Canada.
Excerpt from Manawa—Pacific Heartbeat, 2005.
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