About Michel Tuffery New Zealand Fine Artist

About Michel Tuffery


Manuia le aso. Kia orana. Ia ora na.

Michel Tuffery is a New Zealand-based artist of Samoan, Rarotongan and Ma’ohi Tahitian heritage.

Within his art practice he plays the role of working “in between” people and places, and focusing a fresh lens on environmental, community, cultural and art historical divides.

Tuffery is a passionate educator who openly shares his kauapapa and knowledge to empower our youth through residencies and workshops for school-aged children in New Zealand and abroad.

He exhibits worldwide and has undertaken research and community residencies throughout the USA, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Asia, India, Australia, as well as Aotearoa and the Pacific.

In 2008 Michel was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to art—his ongoing rewards come from enriching communities through his art. 

Enjoy the website and keep checking in as art, current exhibitions and his latest project news lands here. 

Mauruuru ora 

Michel and Team Tuffs

Artwork Practice

While Michel keeps busy, he is also open to opportunities for public speaking, workshops, collaborations, residencies and commissions – for which there is currently a nine month wait list. Enquiries are always welcome for these and more possibilities listed below.

• Woodcuts
• Lithographs
• Etchings
• Drawings
• Painting
• Sculpture
• Carving
• Installations
• Performance Art
• Architectural Projection
• Art Educator
• Documentary Producer
• Creative Director

Moana-in-flight-view-from-Aramoana-of-Taiaroa-Head_2018 by Michel Tuffery

Recent Exhibitions, Projects and Residencies

2019 Chapter 1, Moana Nga Manu brings you into Michel’s research and processes from his 2018 eight week ‘Wild Creations’ artist in residence awarded by Creative New Zealand and the Department of Conservation. The Artists Room, Dunedin, 18 May – 18 June 2019.

2019 Michel was most humbled to be one of the recipients of Te Kura Matatini ki Otago Polytechnic Distinguished Alumni Award on the 17th May. It was an incredibly special award to receive.

2019 Confronting Captain Cook: Memorialisation in museums and public spaces this free online course was developed by the National Maritime Museum Greenwich in London.

2019 Paradise Lost: Daniel Solander’s Legacy delves into the life of Solander, the Swedish botanist and naturalist through the lens of ten New Zealand artists. Michel partnered with The Embassy of Sweden in Canberra to commemorate Solander’s contribution made to New Zealand’s history. Solander Gallery, Wellington, 9 February – 9 March 2019.

2019 Reimagining Captain Cook Pacific Perspectives explores contemporary Pacific perspectives and considers some of the complexities of Cook’s legacy in the Pacific. The British Museum, London, 29 November 2018 – 4 August 2019.


A Radio New Zealand interview with Kathryn Ryan about how my Pacific Island heritage influences my work.


Reading Middens, Tracing Lines is a 2016 exhibition which followed my residency on Waiheke Island.

Scott Ewing, a local ‘Waihesian’ was commissioned jointly by the Waiheke Community Art Gallery and the Waiheke Island Community Cinema to document my thread of study during my artist in residency. Watch the result below, awesome times!

The exhibition was well received with all the paintings sold out, however there’s still the beautiful limited edition emboss prints and cast bronze shells for sale in my online store.

Documentary by Scott Ewing Thanks for giving permission to use this e hoa! Contact Scott »

This website was created with the assistance from Creative New Zealand.

About Michel Tuffery - CNZ

Featured News

FREE Easter Rāpeti Colouring 2022

Special Easter-only / Limited Time Downloads: Rapeti Head Colouring Page and Full Rapeti Colouring Page

Whetu Marama: Bright Star Documentary Film

Whetū Mārama – Bright Star is the story of Sir Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi, aka Hek Busby, and his significance for Māori in rekindling their wayfinding DNA.

Karori West Normal School Mural 2022

The Karori West Normal School mural creation is a collaborative process, engaging and empowering Pacific students.

Ngā Tohunga Whakatere — The Navigators

Journey with Moko as she gains knowledge and understanding of Māori, Pasifika and European voyaging traditions of her skilled tūpuna.

Windows over Wānaka

Is this the worlds biggest colouring-in collaboration? As part of the 2021 Festival of Colour, Windows Over Wānaka was an epic take-over of Helwick Street.
Michel Tuffery Te Moana Nui a Kiwa Series Star Compass for Matariki


The rising of the Matariki star cluster announces the Māori New Year, a time of gratitude for fine harvests; short days and long night skies. It is a constant source of inspiration for Tuffs.