Molly was born and brought up on the edge of the Urewera forest. While she left there for her high school and university education she returned to her hometown, where she worked for her entire career and it is where she still lives. Molly, who is in her 70’s, describes herself first as “Tuhoi, and where ever I go I have to make sure, that I represent my tribe, you know I'm a member of a tribe, and it's important that I represent our strength and our language.” A number of Molly’s children and grandchildren live close to her and she spoke of how in the early morning she often looks across her land to her daughter’s house on one side and her son’s house on the other. Molly is a staunch supporter of the Māori All Blacks and has travelled overseas to see them play. She also supports the Golden Oldies Rugby team and has travelled extensively with them and other team supporters. Molly has had a distinguished teaching career and despite her family asking her to slow down she still does some teaching at the local school. She is also currently recording songs that she used in her teaching after past pupils asked her for them. Speaking of their requests Molly said, “ex-pupils from schools said ‘oh, you remember those songs you used to sing at school that you taught us?’ Can you please sing them for us, and I say ‘no problem, thank you for asking.’ I do it because it’s something they take into their world, and to their people, and they are our eyes aren’t they, they're our eyes to the future.” Molly initially joined the VEBV after some health challenges and now enjoys the outings and connecting with fellow members who she describes as “a group of people who are forward thinking and helpful and the sort of people I want to be around,” and further that they are her “other family.”





Ahua hia moe ana inaianei

Me moe pai noa iho pea!



Love, heart

Holding you together

Being courageous, big heart

Getting sleepy now

I’m going back to sleep now to rest

Ae, Yes, it’s time to go home

See the I? the I is quite big and bold because that’s me – “I Am,” and it’s this heart again arohanui (Molly points to her moko), arohanui comes from the heart, soul, mauritau is the holding you together, manawanui is being courageous, the big heart… and I’m saying, yes, it’s time to go home and have a rest and I’m at the end going Ae, home time,”  In a later conversation Molly described how for her nature and art are one, “My whole childhood was based on art; I was surround by art. We grew up in the bush with artwork in the leaves, in the shapes and colours of different leaves. Also, in the meeting houses on the marae with tukutuku and carvings from my ancestors.”

- Molly


“Every day I consciously say to myself, okay, these are things I'm going to do, so I work out a plan about how to do them, so that I can complete some of them. Or I might surprise myself and compete all of them!” Describing some of the shapes on her “My Mind” art work Molly said, “yes it’s like taking littles steps forward and back, forward and back, and forward. Sort of trying things out, or moving in different directions, or making up your mind whether you should or not, should or not.”


“Again it’s the koru, which is a pathway and all the bits on the way sorting itself out, there is space” Speaking further about her “My Body” art work Molly said, “I consciously have to make sure that I do what is required for my body and made sure that it’s all done.”


“Oh joyful, and yes the koru design…with spirit, it’s there you know it’s there, and there are other spirits there too from the departed and I think they’re always together.”


“I think I’m passionate about things, love is, love, love, love, and when it’s hurt, its hurt, hurt, and when you're joyful it’s real joy, there’s no half way, and cheeky there’s no end to cheeky, and grateful always.”

My Power

Molly’s power comes from the earth’s power of growth and regeneration as illustrated by this power latent in seeds as they combine with the earth, the sky, and the sun. Molly spoke about this as she described her painting saying, “up the top there is ranginui, the sky, and tamanui te rā the Sun, the Sun with its rays bringing warmth to the seed. That’s the kakoana the seed that's lying dormant, and when it's warm enough in the earth there, something happens, it goes down and it roots and something else happens, the opposite, the shoot, and the pikaha is the string, the strong string of bone, taiaha. You’ve got the seed there, the string in there and it sends down oreore that root to Papatuanuku, the earth, and also sends up that shoot, to grow and then it peeps up and looks around and goes yay, yay, tihei, “I’m alive”

Pleasure &

Speaking of the drawing she did representing what gives her pleasure and strength Molly said, “ah that's important to me that’s rima, that’s five, the numeral 5. They’re my 5 children, I always think of them, my five children.” Molly touched the new moko on her forehead that she received recently, and said, “I greet it every day and talk to them, my five children.”