Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Toitu Te Whenua • The Land Will Always Remain


  • Medium: tōtara, pāua (New Zealand abalone)
  • Size: 52.5 × 7.75 × 3.75 inches
  • Reference Code: K90801

This sculptural piece reflects the vital role we play as kaitiaki or custodian of our environment and how we should continue to protect and preserve the natural resources that are important to us all. The pouwhenua (a long hand staff used as both a weapon and a land marker) highlights the fact that our own actions and needs have led us to our present situation and it is a timely reminder of our own vulnerability while the enduring strength and the permanence of Papatuanuku or the land will always remain.

Ian-Wayne Grant

“Whatu ngarongaro te tangata, toitu te whenua”
“People will perish but the land will always remain”

Ian-Wayne Grant

Ian-Wayne Grant


Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitane, Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa

(1964- )

Ian-Wayne was born and raised in the Wairarapa-Bush district of New Zealand and became inspired by the works of his grandfather Te Winika Reihana Kaio. His interest in carving began at school and continued in 1981 when he began his apprenticeship at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, learning the technical skills of carving. After graduating, he stayed on as a resident carver, working on tribal meeting houses, restoration and commission works. In 1994, Lyonel Grant asked him to assist in carving the meeting house Ihenga at the Waiariki Polytechnic in Rotorua. This became a turning point for Ian-Wayne as a carver. He returned to the institute as a tutor, then left to work on various projects of his own and to fulfill aspirations of his heart. Most recently, he assisted Fayne Robinson in carving his tribal meeting house Kaipo in south Westland on the west coast of the South Island.