Gordon graduated in 1983 from the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, winning the Sir Henry Kalliher Student of Honour Award for his talents. In the mid-1990s he earned Top Warrior status after a long training in Māori disciplines, and he is a role model for Māori youth through his support of rehabilitation projects at schools. A noted woodcarver who designed and carved traditional meeting houses, including the Auckland University meeting house Tane-nui-a-rangi, he is most known as a ta moko artist.
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