Master carver teaching art of whakairo

11 November 2021

Master carver teaching art of whakairo

NorthTec has teamed up with Ngāti Rēhia and a renowned master carver to offer introductory courses in the Māori artform of whakairo.

Carver Renata Tane (Ngāti Rāhiri, Ngāti Kawa) is currently working with NorthTec to deliver a part-time course to a group of ten ākonga (learners).

The 10-week programme, Introduction to Elements of Whakairo Design, is being offered from NorthTec’s Te Pou o Manako Campus in Kerikeri. It has been designed for beginners of all ethnicities and got under way this month.

Ngāti Rēhia and Renata Tane have also partnered with NorthTec’s Māori Arts department to offer the New Zealand Certificate in Ngā Toi (Māori Art) at the Raumanga campus. This Level 4 course is aimed at new practitioners and will start in February 2022. It will focus on sharing Māori ancestral knowledge, as well as carving skills, and again is open to adults of any ethnicity.

Ngāti Rēhia leader Kipa Munro said: “Apart from learning the art of whakairo, students will learn the origins of whakairo, ancient history, cultural aspects of whakairo and Te Reo. We hope to produce a group of master carvers that can bring back the art of whakairo in our region and help to develop an elite school for Māori arts.

“Students, through their involvement in this whakairo programme, will ensure that this ancient art form of whakairo is restored, revitalised and strengthened for future generations.”

The 36-week course can be studied as a continuation of the Kerikeri introductory course. It will enable ākonga (learners) to work in Māori arts businesses whilst creating and completing Ngā Toi projects within their communities, or as individual artists.
 
It can also lead to entry onto the Bachelor of Māori Arts degree - Maunga Kura Toi, which is also offered by NorthTec at the Raumanga Campus.