The Coromandel has been Tony’s home for the past 45 years and has been a major influence in his exploration of sea life and the coastal landscape through his salvaged Kauri wood sculptures. Tony began sculpting in 1991 and has exhibited and won awards many times in galleries and at art shows throughout New Zealand.


Private collectors in Europe, America and Japan have acquired most of his work to date.

Tony is driven by his ability to see wood and stone in its raw form, and visualise the artwork within the piece. He derives great pleasure in enabling people to see the hidden beauty that lies within native and exotic timbers.

Sculptor Tony Howse has devoted himself to recovering what Kauri head remain and he collects this precious wood all over the Coromandel Peninsula. Within the knotted, twisted and ancient wood, lies timber grain of extraordinary colour and beauty. Guided by the contour and patterns of the wood, Tony spends a long time contemplating each individual piece of salvaged Kauri to see what shape hides within before he starts the work of sculpting, uncovering the form. He also uses parts of the root system as table legs for his Kauri Design pieces. Tony Howse uses native birds and other forms from nature as the main inspiration for his artworks.

Tony works with many different kinds of wood, but Kauri lies closes to his heart. 

Sculptor Tony Howse holding an Angelfish Sculpture made from salvaged Coromandel Kauri in his gallery in Whangamata, New Zealand

Recalling when he first took  up carving more than 30 years ago, Tony said it was the love of the wood that provided the motivation.

“People were gathering it for firewood. I couldn’t understand it, it was so beautiful and they were burning it, I thought there had to be a better way to use it.”

While he has certainly honed his craft over the years, Tony still uses nature as a strong source of inspiration, with a particular love for native birds. Boats and yachts are another speciality, as are planes.

But whatever the sculpture, it’s the story of the wood, that Tony is passionate about, something he takes great joy in sharing with his customers.

Excerpt from Interview in Creative Coromandel. Read full article here.


Sculptor Tony Howse of Kauri Cliff Art Gallery is the recipient of the Pride of New Zealand 2014 Awards

Tony Howse is a Dedicated Conservationist


Combining his passion for Kauri, Native birds and conservation, Tony has designed and developed the Karangahake Native Bird Reserve, located in the famous Karangahake Gorge, Coromandel, New Zealand.

Tony was a recipient of the 2014 Pride of NZ Conservation Award for his work establishing this reserve, and encouraging young people to participate in replanting it with native trees.  This beautiful reserve continues to flourish, with populations of aquatic life and native birds returning.  

Tony's current project is the development of the Spring Creek Reserve. This five hectare wetland is also situated in the Karangahake Gorge.  Wetlands are an essential component to a healthy ecosystem. Tony's work in extensive planting and providing a safe habitat has increased both the size and the biodiversity of this conservation reserve.  

The Karangahake Native Bird Reserve is open to the public. The Spring Creek Reserve is projected to be ready to be open to the public in early 2021.