Selwyn Muru

Herewini Murupaenga aka Selwyn Muru was born into the Far North iwi Ngāti Kurī in September 1937. Selwyn has spoken often and fondly about being brought up at the feet of his kaumātua learning Māori traditions. He was schooled at Te Hapua on the shores of Parengarenga Harbour.

Muru received his secondary education at Northland College, Kaikohe before attending Ardmore Teacher’s Training College and taking up teaching positions at Matakana District High School and then at Huiarau Primary in the Urewera settlement of Ruatāhuna. In 1962 he was a part-time art tutor at Mount Eden Prison. An accomplished professional pianist, he also worked on the 1964 New Zealand feature film Runaway produced by John O’Shea for Pacific Films, building sets and had a small acting role.

He had strong relationships with the artistic greats who had been encouraged by Gordon Tovey, arts advisor to the Department of Education, to develop, experiment with and expand Māori arts; Cliff Whiting, Ralph Hōtere, Sandy Adsett, Para Matchitt and Freda Kawharu to name a few. He carved out his own artistic pathway as a multi-media artist including painting, sculpture and writing.

His broadcast career began in 1967 when he was appointed as an assistant to the Head of Programmes at the NZBC. He instigated Te Puna Wai Kōrero, a weekly current affairs programme in English on northern Māori issues, and in the early 1970s replaced Ted Nēpia as the main producer/presenter of Te Reo o Te Pipiwharauroa, the flagship weekly current affairs programme in Māori.

When Wiremu Parker retired, Muru took over reporting and reading the national weekly broadcasts of news in Māori as well as helping script and narrate Māori programmes on the Looking at New Zealand weekly television series. From 1970-77 Muru was Radio New Zealand’s Programme Organiser for Māori and Pacific Island Programmes based in Auckland. He also researched, reported and directed for the early “window on the Māori world” television programme, Koha.
Place Of Birth


Works by this Artist