In the arts

Elizabeth’s father, Karauria Tarao (Bison) Kerekere, was an artist and master carver so she grew up drawing and painting and studying Māori design for as long as she can remember. Elizabeth is a multi-media artist using different media depending on the kaupapa, ranging from drawing and painting to clay work and weaving to fashion and graphic design.

A photo of Elizabeth's father's graveside, featuring a beautiful Māori carving. Elizabeth is photographed from behind, her hand reaching out to touch the carving.

Art has always been a big part of her life, including teaching it as a primary school teacher. It was not until she moved home to Gisborne that she committed to her art full-time by attending Toihoukura, the Māori art school 2010-2012. One of the works from her final year solo exhibition, Mana Takatāpui, was purchased by the Parliament Art Committee to commemorate the passing of marriage equality into law. It was put on permanent display in the Rainbow Room of Parliament long before Elizabeth became an MP and chair of that same Art Committee.

Rainbow Voices of Aotearoa New Zealand: A Short Documentary Film was created in 2019 to mark the reopening of Parliament’s Rainbow Room. Dr Elizabeth Kerekere was interviewed for the documentary.