A major retrospective, showcasing a collective of ground-breaking Pacific and Māori fashion designers, artists, and performers.

A collective of Pacific and Māori fashion designers, artists, and performers, the Pacific Sisters electrified 1990s Auckland, bringing the ground-breaking style of an urban, New Zealand–born Pacific generation to the mainstream. Through pioneering, daring shows, the Pacific Sisters overturned stereotypes about Pacific culture, ‘dusky maiden’ beauty and sexuality.

A major retrospective, Pacific Sisters: He Toa Tāera | Fashion Activists showcases the collective’s innovative costumes and performances, which began as street style before expanding into multimedia experiences in venues from art galleries to night clubs. 

Exhibition continues until Sunday 14 July

Note: Entry charges apply to international visitors


Watch Video (NZSL-interpreted) about Pacific Sisters


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NZSL InterpretedClick here for details of the NZSL-Interpreted exhibition tour

AD and TT lockup2Click here for details of the Touch Tour and Audio Described exhibition tour


Pacific Sisters is a collective including
Lisa Reihana, Ngāpuhi/Aotearoa 
Rosanna Raymond, Hāmoa/Aotearoa 
Ani O'Neill, Aotearoa/Kuki Airini 
Suzanne Tamaki, Aotearoa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Maniapoto 
Selina Haami, Hāmoa/Aotearoa 
Niphi Tupaea, Ngāti Katoa, Aotearoa 
Henzart @ Henry Ah-Foo Taripo, Aotearoa/Kuki Airini 
Feeonaa Wall, Aotearoa/Hāmoa/Wīreni/Tiamani 
Jaunnie ‘Ilolahia, Tonga/Aotearoa

Kaitiaki with a K; Tāulaolevai: Keeper of the Water (Tuna) (cloak) 2017, New Zealand by Pacific Sisters.
Installation view. Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists, 2018, Toi Art, Te Papa. Photograph by Kate Whitely.

21st Sentry Cyber Sister 1997, New Zealand by Pacific Sisters, Ani O’Neill, Niphi Tupaea, Rosanna Raymond, Suzanne Tamaki, Te Papa (FE011080) and Leai se Fefe (Costume to offset the Acid thought of Doubt) 2016 by Feeonaa Wall. Installation view. Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists, 2018, Toi Art, Te Papa.


Developed and toured by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Pacific Sisters’ fashion is activism... because fashion offered a way to combat stereotypes.

— Ioana Gordon-Smith, The Pantograph Punch