Rewi Alley exhibition at Taupo Museum

27/09/2018 5:00 p.m.

Taupō Museum is pleased to display an exhibition on New Zealand-born writer and political activist Rewi Alley and his time in China.

Alley was born in Springfield in Canterbury in 1897 and christened Rewi, after Rewi Maniapoto, a Ngāti Maniapoto leader. Spending his formative years in New Zealand, he attended Christchurch Boys’ High School before volunteering for military service. He was wounded in France and awarded the Military Medal for bravery and devotion to duty under fire.

Upon returning to New Zealand, he cleared and farmed an area in Moeawatea, near Waverley, in Taranaki for six years. Following this short farming stint, out of curiosity he decided to visit China to – in his own words – “go and have a look at the Chinese revolution.” This was to be a turning point for him as China effectively became his home for the rest of his life.  

This photography exhibition follows Rewi’s move to China in 1927 and includes his participation in the Gung Ho (Work Together) movement, right through to being recognised for this service in New Zealand where he was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for community service in 1985 by Prime Minister of the time, David Lange.

His journey included coming to the aid of Chinese workers experiencing severe job exploitation, opening a school and re-introducing soldiers back into work following various conflicts.

The exhibition is a fascinating look at a remarkable New Zealander and is on until November 11, in tandem with the Suzhou exhibition.

September 27 2018 
Matt Mortimer • Communications advisor • 07 376 0641 • 022 407 4990
Andy Taylor • Senior communications advisor • 07 376 0781 • 027 570 4651

Page reviewed: 01 Oct 2018 2:31pm