Ben Te Aika links to Kāti Wairaki, Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha and Kāi Tahu whakapapa. Formerly of Te Rua Aronui Gallery on Te Tai o Poutini, Ben works in the traditional mediums of whakairo rākau, pounamu and moko.
Ben is currently involved in running part time wānaka teaching pounamu carving at an introductory level. Ben has represented at events in Samoa and in Aotearoa. His current passion is in working with stone particularly pounamu.
“I am maintaining my ancestral connection to the Arahura River and my whakapapa there. Gathering the pounamu from Arahura, carving and trading are part of our Kāti Wairaki heritage practices. My other passions of whakapapa research and how whakapapa links to the land completes the circle.”