Patterns of the Past - Tattoo Revival in the Cook Islands

About Punarua Productions and Patterns of the Past

Kirsty Griffin, Therese Mangos and John UtangaPunarua Productions is an Independent publisher of the book Patterns of the Past: Tattoo Revival in the Cook Islands. When the partnership was formed in the early 1990s by Therese Mangos and Anna Gundesen, they both worked as freelance technicians in the NZ film industry. Patterns of the Past is their first publishing venture. Both parties are also directors of their sister company Mamarua.
(photo right: Kirsty Griffin, Therese Mangos and John Utanga at Te Papa book launch, February 2012)

John Utanga and Therese Mangos in Ruatonga, RarotongaTherese Mangos, author

Therese is a NZ-born Cook Islander. She was inspired to research Patterns of the Past over a decade ago when she realised there was very little information about Cook Islands tattooing available. As an amateur writer she launched into writing and later joined forces with John Utanga to draw upon their combined skills. Therese has a Degree in Commerce from Auckland University and spent almost 20 years working as a freelance film technician.  More recently she has co-managed an environmental organisation focused on sustainability. Therese is currently the operations manager of a green start up promoting waste minimisation.

John Utanga, author

John has been an established journalist for the last 21 years.  Born and raised in the Cook Islands he left to pursue tertiary study at Auckland University and Manukau Polytechnic. For the last 15 years he has worked as a television reporter for Tagata Pasifika which focuses on Pacific Islands issues in New Zealand and in the islands.  He is a well-known figure in the Pacific and Cook Islands communities.
(photo above left: John Utanga and Therese Mangos in Ruatonga, Rarotonga)

Kirsty Griffin, photographer

Kirsty Griffin is one of New Zealand’s leading stills photographers in the film and television industry. She also works as a documentary photographer, using the skills of her craft to creatively reflect the world around her.  
In 2010 she relocated to New York to attend the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography school at the International Centre of Photography, where she received the Helen M Stummer scholarship.
For more information visit