NZ Māori Arts


Our Cultural Legacy
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Te Puia houses the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, established in the 1920s to foster all aspects of Māori culture. At Te Puia, national schools of carving, weaving and other traditional arts train talented students from around New Zealand under the guidance of master craftspersons.

The New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute

History of NZMACI

Traditionally, weaving and carving were vital Māori arts but by the 1920 they were in danger of extinction. Established in 1926, the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute at Te Puia has seen carving, weaving and other traditional Māori art forms not only survive but thrive.

The New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute

Establishment of NZMACI

By the 1920s our culture and traditions were in serious danger of being lost forever. The visionary Māori politician, Sir Apirana Ngata, believed that our material culture – particularly wood carving – held the key to our cultural preservation. His efforts saw the first Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, established in 1926. This helped revive traditional Māori arts and crafts and laid solid foundations for the New Zealand Māori Arts and Craft Institute at Te Puia today.

The New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute

National Wood Carving School

At the National Wood Carving School (Te Wānanga Whakairo Rākau) you can see this prestigious art form being handed down from master carvers to young trainees. Watch as students practice this great traditional Māori art form in front of your eyes.

  • Available to view during
The New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute

National Stone and Bone Carving School

At the National Stone and Bone Carving School (Te Takapū o Rotowhio) students learn the revered tradition of carving pounamu (New Zealand greenstone), bone and stone. Students in this school also explore other materials and technical processes, including casting.

  • Available to view during
The New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute

National Weaving School

At the national weaving school students learn the ancient art of Māori weaving. At Te Puia you can watch the weavers at work and interact with them as they create garments of great beauty.

In recent times a greater range of classes have been offered, including community-based courses. In 2000, night-classes were introduced, followed by a full-time, three-year course. 

  • Available to view during
The New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute

Tā Moko Studio

Embrace your personal stories in a meaningful way by receiving a tā moko (Māori tattoo) at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI) Tā Moko Studio. Artists Katz and Jake are world renowned after travelling globally with the NZMACI Tuku Iho | Living Legacy exhibition alongside the NZ Government to showcase this special art form. Find out more about tā moko and book here.

The New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Social and cultural responsibility lies at the heart of Te Puia | NZMACI. The New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Centre is a not-for-profit crown entity that requires no government funding. All trading surpluses are reinvested back into our programmes and initiatives.

Te Puia | NZMACI supports numerous organisations and events in the Rotorua community and beyond. These include substantial scholarships for all NZMACI students.

The team at Te Puia | NZMACI supports Ka Pai Kai Rotorua – a local, not-for-profit school lunch service that provides free healthy lunches to Rotorua children. Employees donate weekly, with donations matched by Te Puia. We also support other local events and organisations with prizes and cash, such as the annual gifting of a taonga (treasure) for the Ronald McDonald House Annual Fundraiser. We are a major sponsor of the bi-annual national Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival. We also support initiatives to assist marae committees restore their wharenui (meeting houses). Te Puia | NZMACI allows locals to visit for free. This is especially valued by the local Māori community.