Te Roopu Raranga O Whatu
Maori Weavers of New Zealand
Established in 1983 as 'Aotearoa Moananui a Kiwa Weavers' by the Maori and South Pacific Arts Council (MASPAC), the organisation received tremendous interest as it sought to revive the traditional arts of weaving. The partnership of Pacific weavers and Maori saw a dynamic exploration of materials of Aotearoa and also the experimentation of materials more common in the Pacific homelands.
Due to internal funding changes, the Maori and Pacific weavers group split in 1994. Te Roopu Raranga O Whatu was adopted as the new organisational name.
- Christina Hurihia Wirihana, Chairperson
- Awhina Tamarapa, Deputy Chair
- Ruth Port
- Paula Rigby
- Te Hemoata Henare
Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa
To nurture, develop and preserve the techniques and tikanga of Raranga, whatu and taniko in traditional and modern contexts for Maori weavers.
Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa aspires to be the organisation of first choice for all matters relating to the techniques and tikanga of raranga
1. Retain and maintain the intellectual property rights of Maori Fibre Arts.
2. Continue to support and maintain the art of traditional and contemporary Maori Fibre Arts;
3. Organize biannual national hui to continue to meet the needs of weavers to come together for revitalization.
4. Convene wananga for skilled practitioners
5. Initiate international linkages through hosting hui, symposiums and conferences for Indigenous Weavers.
6. Maintain working relationships with indigenous weavers through out the Pacific.
7. Initiate, support and participate exhibitions both nationally and internationally.
8. Assist conservators, curators and practitioners to maintain the integrity of Maori Fibre Arts.
9. Actively participate with issues of conservation, research, and cultivation of raw and processed materials.
10. Promote through publications.
11. Be responsive to approaches from external stakeholders
A major feature of the organisations programmes has been the indigenous weavers network throughout the Pacific Rim. The National Weavers Symposium at Papakura Marae, Auckland in 1993 was a significant reference point for the weavers and involved a large number of international guests. These relationships were strengthened again with the Indigenous Weavers International Symposium in Rotorua 2010.
The weavers National Hui is now held biennially. At this tiem members elect new members and share progress and developments within Maori weaving techniques.
A key element in the resurgence and strength of weaving has been the development of a new generation of teachers of weaving in the tertiary institutions of the country. Many of the courses now include the National Weavers Hui as part of the course requirements.