NZMACI celebrates 50 years, alongside master carver, Clive Fugill

Tumu whakarae (master carver), Clive Fugill began his carving career with a pocket knife in a wood shed and on 15 January, 1967, was one of seven successful applicants at New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute’s (NZMACI) first intake. Fifty years on, both Clive and NZMACI celebrate their achievements.


A descendent of Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Tainui and Te Arawa, those who know Clive well describe him as “a leader that leads from the side.”


“He’s quiet and reserved, solid, enduring, consistent and does the work,” said pou whakairo (lead tutor) of the National Stone and Bone Carving School, Stacy Gordine.


Whānau and colleagues celebrated Clive’s 50 year long service to NZMACI with a surprise luncheon held in his honour. A haka, performed by current and past students, welcomed Clive, followed by honorary speeches.


“Not many organisations have the opportunity to celebrate someone who’s been with them 50 years, let alone someone who’s been there since the beginning,” said Te Puia l NZMACI CEO, Tim Cossar.


NZMACI general manager, Eraia Kiel, presented Clive with a patu ōnewa (stone weapon made from greywacke), carved by Stacy Gordine.


“I chose to make a patu ōnewa as I knew it was an item he didn’t have in his personal collection,” said Stacy.


“As a youngster, Clive visited a private collection of taonga in Dargaville, where he was captivated and inspired by a beautifully crafted patu.


“This parallels how staff and students at NZMACI are captivated, inspired and in awe of the knowledge, skill base and carvings produced by koro Clive.”


Proudly holding up the patu ōnewa, Clive said, “I’ve always wanted one, and now I’ve got one.”


“I’ve never forgotten its shape and form; I’ve tried to recreate it. Stacy and his boys have this down to a fine art and this is perfect,” said Clive.


When asked how he has kept going 50 years on, Clive said “passing on what has been taught in the correct form to my students.”


“In life, no one on the planet knows everything - I have a life of continuous learning, I’m nosy - I learn every day and I never stop. I don’t worry about the things I know; I worry about the things I don't know.”


An early morning karakia was also held to celebrate NZMACI’s 50th anniversary. Celebrations will continue throughout 2017 in the lead up to the new Wānanga Precinct.