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Tūhourangi, Ngāti Wahiao


June Northcroft Grant has been an artist and a champion for Māori art for several decades. She is also a business woman and has been involved with Māori tourism since she was a young girl.


June is of Ngāti Tūhourangi, Ngāti Wahiao and Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent. She grew up knowing how important hospitality and manaakitanga are to her people.  Although a shy fifteen year old girl in the 1960’s, June’s face became well known in Rotorua face in Rotorua as she was a popular model for photographers. She was also one of the famous “Māori Meter Maids” who roved the Rotorua central business district topping up visitors’ parking meters to make them feel welcome.


June gained a Diploma of Craft Design from the Waiariki Polytechnic in 1989. She has been producing fine art work ever since. Her work has been exhibited in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. In 1991 June opened ‘Pohutu Prints Originals’ specialising in Māori design-based screen prints. She also opened a store called "Best of Māori Tourism Limited", which sold Māori-made and designed products. Te Raukura - The Red Feather Gallery was also part of her legacy.


June is related to some fascinating local figures. Her father was Major Henry William Northcroft of the 28th Māori Battalion. She is also related to Makereti Papakura – the famous Whakarewarewa guide. June’s connection to these, and other ancestors, has inspired much of her art. She has produced many paintings featuring interwoven tribal histories and powerful ancestral figures.


In 1996, June wrote a biographical entry about Makereti Papakura for the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. In February  2018 she gave a fascinating lecture about Makereti and her sister Bella, who was the first guide to be licensed, at the Waitangi Rua Rautau Lecture Series.


June has been a strong advocate for the work of Māori artists and a passionate supporter of the development of Māori art in schools. To this end she has been a Change: member of many committees and advocacy groups one being the Kauwae Māori Artists Collective, which supports emerging Māori women artists.

June Grant has received many accolades in her career including the MWDI small business award and the Black Pearl Award for Māori women’s leadership.  She has been a member of Aroha Mai Cancer Support Network and a trustee of the Rotorua Breast Cancer Trust and in 2010 she received the Insignia of an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori.  

Qualities: innovation, identity, relationships, wellbeing

More to watch:

June Grant talking about her memories of being a Māori Meter Maid:


More to read:

From Rotorua Library:

Kiwa: Pacific connections: Māori art from Aotearoa (June Grant)


More to listen to:

Hear the full Waitangi Rua Rautau Lecture given by June Northcroft Grant in 2018:


This entry is related to:

‘Maggie Papakura of Geyserland’; Adrienne Whitewood and Ahu;



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