- John Hovell
(b Tairawhiti, NZ, July 6, 1928; d Kennedy Bay, NZ, Dec 29, 2008).
Maori carver and craftsman. He was educated at Te Aute Maori Boys’ College, Waipawa county, where he came under the direct influence of Pine Taiapa. He taught in rural schools for some years, and in 1958 resumed the craft of carving, practising it for 15 years and teaching it to adults in night classes. At the age of 45 he was offered his first major project, the Waiariki Meeting House, Otara, Auckland. He completed four more houses, the Otawhao House at Te Awamutu, Te Poho-o-Tipene (St Stephen’s School) in South Auckland, the Tane-Nui-a-Rangi house at Auckland University, and the Harataunga community house at Kennedy’s Bay. Each house represented five years of research, planning, architectural and design input, as well as the carving of wall panels and structural posts, and the co-ordination of all the other decorative arts used in Maori ceremonial houses. He became recognized as the leading Tohunga Whakairo...