Birgit Krippner

Tame Iti, A Māori activist
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Nationality: Austrian
Biography: Availabe for assignments in New Zealand and abroad. . Born in Austria, Birgit Krippner has lived in New Zealand since 2003. Her specialty is capturing candid images using only available light. She often works in low... read on
Public Story
Tame Iti, A Māori activist
Copyright birgit krippner 2021
Date of Work 04/16/14 - Ongoing
Updated 07/16/17

This ongoing project comprises photographs during Krippner’s regular visits with Ngāi Tūhoe a Māori iwi (“tribe”) of New Zealand, also known as “the children of the mist”.

Tame Iti, the high profile Tūhoe Māori activist and artist, which was exhibited at Suite Gallery in New Zealand in February 2015, and in San Francisco at the Harvey Milk Photography Center, in April 2015. ITI – the Tūhoe meaning of which is “humble or in the background”.

During the colonial period the Crown confiscated Te Urewera, Tūhoe’s ancestral homeland in the eastern North Island. In the 20th century the Tūhoe people suffered extreme social deprivation – ravaged by famine and disease. Especially hard hit were the children — school records from the 1920s and 1930s show that 75% of those who died were less than 25 years old.

Despite this adversity, the Tūhoe people have demonstrated the mana (“indestructible spiritual power”) to preserve their Māori identity like few other iwi — including the continued and uninterrupted use of their native language by a very high percentage of their population.

Krippner’s photos in this exhibition document a very important time in Tuhoe’s history. Tūhoe’s 2014 treaty settlement with the Crown returned Te Urewera, the spiritual home of the Tūhoe people, and marks the transition from grievance to a future promising greater opportunity and

Krippner’s photographs provide an intimate lens on Tame Iti, the Tuhoe people and Te Urewera, and serves as a document of the promise of new beginnings.


Also by Birgit Krippner —


Seeing myself

By Birgit Krippner

Behrouz Boochani Just Wants to Be Free

By Birgit Krippner / Christchurch, New Zealand — In July 2020, photo editor Shannon Simons from the New York Times Magazine sent me on a two-day photo..


By Birgit Krippner / Red Hook — 'Smitty'  NYC native Smitty plays his original compositions on National Reso-Phonic metal-body guitars..

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By Birgit Krippner — In May 2015 I was walking the seven train line extensively, starting at Times Square in NYC, and ending up..

Trans Siberian Railway

By Birgit Krippner / Siberia, Russia — Going on long train trips in my childhood was one of my preferred ways to travel. When I got older, I..

26 Days at Sea

By Birgit Krippner / Pacific Ocean — “I first had this dream when I was a teenager, in Austria, watching ships sail the Danube. About six months..


By Birgit Krippner / Jerusalem, Israel — 'Israel/Palestine'. After spending two weeks in Israel and Palestine I realized, that this is a place which..

Ngāi Tūhoe, a Māori tribe

By Birgit Krippner / Lake Waikaremoana, New Zealand — Tūhoe are a NZ Maori tribe (Iwi) - known as the "the children of the mist" because of mist that often..

Unexpect the Expected

By Birgit Krippner / Perryville, Missouri — Small Town Cop in Perryville, Mo. “I’ll park the car and walk the square, checking door locks..
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