Alistair Fraser

Whakakite Ngā Taonga Pūoro - Revealing the Singing Treasures

Choose a theme

Copy (Ctrl C) the code below

Ma whero, ma pango ka oti ai te rangi.

With the red and black the work will be complete.

Kia ora, my name is Alistair Fraser and I am a performer, maker and independent researcher of ngā taonga pūoro, Māori musical instruments.

I have been awarded a 2016 Churchill Fellowship to research and examine collections of taonga pūoro held in museum collections abroad.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust award covers 2/3rds of my budget to successfully complete this project and I am seeking help to fund the remainder.

In September 2016 I will travel to the UK and Ireland to research taonga pūoro collections held in ten museums there. Many of these instruments are held in museums that are less known and are held in 'back of house' storage. As such, these are rarely seen by the public and many have not yet been examined by taonga pūoro researchers.

I will measure and photograph these taonga and distribute this research through public talks and through the Haumanu network of taonga pūoro revivalists.

In 2015 I had the oportunity to examine back of house collections at British Museum, Oxford Pitt Rivers Museum, Horniman Museum and Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. I have distributed this research which has stimulated much discussion.

I also hope to play and record these taonga.

These taonga tāwhito need to be 'kept warm' and played so that their voices can be heard again.

In 2015 I released an album of recordings of the taonga pūoro held at Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum and I crowdfunded 200 CDs which were donated to the museum as a fundraiser.

Much can be learned about the construction of these taonga by playing them.


  • Thank you


    The Boosted funding only has a day left to run and I've made it to the total.

    Thank you all for donating!

    I fully appreciated your support with this project and I'm looking forward to sharing my research.

    Mauri ora!



  • Cambridge Museum of Archaelology and Anthropology Taonga Pūoro recordings released


    Cambridge University Museum of Archaelology and Anthropology Taonga Pūoro recordings have been released through Bandcamp. Follow the link and have a listen. It's available to buy for $5.

    This is a short album of recordings I made at Cambridge MAA in May 2015 of their collection of taonga pūoro.


    Mauri ora!








    Cambridge Museum of Archaelology and Anthropology Taonga Pūoro recordings released
  • 10 Museums! Fairfax news article


    Thanks to you all for your donations! I'm very appreciative of any and all of the donations. Some of you who have donated are my friends and some are people I've never met. Thanks!

    If you havn't donated and are thinking of doing so, please do. I'm 1/3 of the way there and I think my goal is achievable with your help.

    I now have 10 confirmed museum bookings! Yay!

    DomPost/FairFax ran a story about my research trip. There are a few typos and mis-quotes but in all it's a nice article that will hopefully spread the word about my research and raise awareness about taonga pūoro.

    Once again, thanks for your help. Please share this boosted page with anyone who you may think would be interested.

    Mauri ora!


  • 'Back of House' bookings


    Kia ora koutou, I've now got nine confirmed back of house museum collection bookings! A museum in Scotland that holds a pūtōrino has come to light during my booking process, which is in addition to my previous research of UK and Ireland museums. Bonus! Thanks to you all for your donations so far.