18 Jun 2010

Taonga auction prices beyond the reach of some

8:48 pm on 18 June 2010

One of the largest collections of Maori and Oceanic art to reach the market in recent years is now in the hands of new owners,

On Thursday night Webb's auction house in Auckland sold off more than $750,000 worth of taonga, many of which had been returned to New Zealand from the Zanesville Museum in the American state of Ohio.

Sitting front row with her bidding card ready was singer Moana Maniapoto from Ngati Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa.

But her hopes of picking up the prized huia feather for the sort of money such items have fetched in the past on Trade Me were dashed in the atmosphere of the live auction.

Moana Maniapoto says she was able to pick up another taonga for her trouble.

Webb's managing director Neil Campbell says he was happy people had a chance to see such a broad range of Oceanic art assembled in one place.