Presented as an exhibition at Te Uru and as this publication, MOTUTAPU is the conclusion of a four-year journey by artist Benjamin Work and photographer Brendan Kitto. This project looks at the shared history of Motutapu (sacred island) throughout Moana Oceania – including Tongatapu, Rarotonga and at the entrance to the Waitematā Harbour here in Tāmaki Makaurau. Motutapu is a place of sanctuary. Positioned at the entrance of great harbours, straddling the open ocean and the mainland, it serves as a gateway for navigators arriving and departing on voyages. The lifting of tapu and making things noa took place on Motutapu, allowing navigators to continue with their journey back to their closest kāinga, even if it was generations later.