Ngāi Tamanuhiri, Ngāti Kahungunu
Steve was born and raised in Gisborne. In 1978 he earned a Diploma in Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he majored in painting, printmaking and art history, then completed a Diploma in Secondary Teaching at the Christchurch College of Education in 1979. He has worked as a lecturer in Māori Design at Christchurch Polytechnic and, since 1994, as principal tutor at Toihoukura School of Māori Visual Arts at the Tairāwhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne.
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