Michael Parekowhai was born in Porirua in 1968. His Māori whakapapa is Ngā Ariki and Ngāti Whakarongō. Parekowhai gained his BFA (1990) and his MFA (2000) from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. In 2001 Michael was awarded an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate. Michael Parekowhai is Associate Professor in Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. His exhibition history spans almost two decades. He lives and works in Auckland.