Project Banaba Exhibition

1 Tennyson St, Napier

Project Banaba, by Banaban scholar and artist Katerina Teaiwa, explores how the island of Banaba was destroyed by phosphate mining during the 20th century, leading to the total relocation of its people on 15 December 1945.

Co-curated by Jess Mio and Yuki Kihara, this exhibition brings together rare historical archives and new work that sheds light on this little-known era of New Zealand’s history and its ongoing impact on communities here and across the Moana Pacific.

The British Phosphate Commissioners, owned collectively by the governments of Australia, New Zealand and Britain, mined Banaba from 1900 to 1980. The rock from the island was manufactured into superphosphate fertiliser and applied to farms across Australia and New Zealand.

This enabled the temporary expansion of the industrial agriculture industry, and ended thousands of years of continuous occupation on Banaba. The island was rendered uninhabitable and the Banabans moved to their new home on the island of Rabi in Fiji.

About the creator of Project Banaba:
Katerina Teaiwa (of Banaban, I-Kiribati and African American descent) is Associate Professor in Pacific Studies at the Australian National University, Canberra. She is the author of Consuming Ocean Island (2015), a definitive history of Banaba; and editor with Polly Stupples of Contemporary Perspectives on Art and International Development (2016). Katerina has a background in contemporary Pacific dance and was a founding member of the Oceania Dance Theatre in Fiji.


Wed 21st Aug 2019, 9:30am

Thu 22nd Aug 2019, 9:30am

Fri 23rd Aug 2019, 9:30am

Sat 24th Aug 2019, 9:30am

Sun 25th Aug 2019, 9:30am

Mon 26th Aug 2019, 9:30am

Tue 27th Aug 2019, 9:30am

Wed 28th Aug 2019, 9:30am

Thu 29th Aug 2019, 9:30am

Fri 30th Aug 2019, 9:30am

Sat 31st Aug 2019, 9:30am

Sun 1st Sep 2019, 9:30am


MTG Hawke's Bay, Napier, Hawke's Bay / Gisborne

1 Tennyson St, Napier