New student intake at NZMACI

As the centre for New Zealand's Māori culture and geothermal wonders, Te Puia is also home to the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI) which holds the National Schools of wood carving, weaving, and stone, bone and pounamu (greenstone) carving.


NZMACI has a commitment responsibility to protecting, promoting and perpetuating the arts, crafts and culture of iwi Māori (Māori tribes) as mandated by the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Act (1963).


As such, Te Takapū o Rotowhio (National Stone and Bone Carving School) has welcomed its 6th intake of students, who will learn the respected tradition of carving pounamu (greenstone), bone and stone, as well as casting in resins and metals at the Foundry.


A limited number of ākonga (students) are selected each year, and part of the careful vetting process is focused on ensuring iwi (tribes) throughout the country are represented. NZMACI entrusts these students to learning the skills that they will one day take back to their areas.


During their study, the school’s carvers have the opportunity to be involved in a range of kaupapa (initiatives) on site, throughout New Zealand and overseas. The outcome is two-pronged – it fulfils NZMACI’s cultural perpetuation, protection and promotion mandate and exposes students to environments which help them see first-hand how knowledge, history, and ideas are manifested through material culture.


Next time you visit Te Puia, be sure to take a guided tour where you can watch the students working hard under the expert tuition of Stacy Gordine – a renowned artist from the East Coast of New Zealand. Under his tuition, the students will not only learn how to carve, but also the historical and spiritual significance of customary practices and much more.


We warmly welcome you to our whānau (family) and wish you the best with your studies.


Colin Te Puhanui Tihi

Iwi: Ngāi Tuhoe, Ngāti Tarāwhai, Ngāti Rangitihi, Tuhourangi


Richard Sonna Witeri

Iwi: Te Whakatōhea, Te Arawa, Ngāti Ranginui


Te Tai o Rehua Cooper

Iwi: Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāi Tūhoe


Te Mauri Arohana Tini

Iwi: Tainui – Ngāti Hikairo, Te Arawa, Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao, Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha


Reeve Vincent Paul Hokopaura

Iwi: Ngā Rauru, Ngā Ruahine, Te Pakakohi


Photo caption:The New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute’s new National Stone and Bone Carving School students, left to right: Colin Te Puhanui Tihi, Te Tai o Rehua Cooper, Reeve Vincent Paul Hokopaura, Te Tai o Rehua Cooper, Richard Sonna Witeri