Rongo Tangatake Tuhura was born in Gisborne, New Zealand in 1971, to parents Romeo Tuhura and Charlotte Tibble, each sharing a rich and diverse heritage. Being of Ngati Porou decent, Rongo acknowledges also his Spanish, Scottish, Norwegian, French, and Lebanese blood ties.
In 2008 Rongo emerged a recent graduate of the Te Toi o Nga Rangi Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts program run by esteemed local Maori Visual Arts School Toihoukura, Gisborne. Prior learning in multimedia: visual and graphic design held Rongo in good stead to progress swiftly and successfully through the program. However, like many artists, Rongo’s love and appreciation of art began at a very early age.
Inspired by the masters of the Renaissance era, Rongo was later encouraged to delve into his own culture and heritage where among many things he discovered diverse genealogies about the pantheon of the gods, great leaders of men, and inspiring histories concerning the audacious heroes and heroines of Maoridom.
"Rongo Tūhura is one of the most exciting illustrators of Māori concepts I have come across. His works are pictorial gems carefully thought out and created. They need to be enjoyed as individual pieces"
Darcy Nicholas - General Manager Pataka Museum, Porirua City.