Skip Content
Weku Kereopa : Diploma in Māori and Indigenous Art. (Raranga) graduate

Weku Kereopa may have been the only tāne (male) in his raranga (weaving) class but that didn’t deter him from completing the Diploma in Māori and Indigenous Art.

The Murupara local would travel to his class in Whakatāne once a week to study the level 5 programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

“It was a good environment to be in and around. Yes, I was the only male but they (classmates) would awhi (embrace) me and support me.”

Growing up, Weku would attend weaving expo’s with his aunties and mum. From there he grew a passion and an interest for the art form.

“Hardly any of my whānau weave now but I found all of their work in our shed and that made me want to learn and keep it alive.”

Apart from the exposure to raranga that Weku had growing up and weaving bracelets from time to time, his knowledge and experience was minimal.

“At the start we were all novices and we were scared of talking up our work. This programme has built up a lot of confidence in me. I used to hide away in the corner but I feel more confident and open to share my weaving and everything I’ve learnt.”

Weku encouraged those with even a small amount of interest to give raranga a go and to remember that weaving was once a big part of life for both tāne and wāhine (women) in Māori culture.

“I guess for men, we should remember that our people used to make ropes and nets for hunting and fishing. Because I live in the bush, I’m going to relish all that stuff. So, if they have a hunger to learn, just go for it.”

Studying at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa provided an environment that Weku said was enjoyable and made him feel comfortable while on his learning journey.

“Once you get in the classroom it’s quiet. Everyone is weaving and you just feel a good vibe. It doesn’t matter what level you are, we just work together and try to help each other.”

Find out more about our toi Māori (arts) programmes

 Back to news & events

Published On: 16 May 2023

Article By: Cassia Ngaruhe

Other Articles

  • 01 December 2023

    Wānanga kaiako and small-town gym owner wins NZ Exercise Award

    Kaitaia local Dena-Maree Hemara (nō Te Māhurehure me Ngāti Rangi) wears multiple pōtae – business owner, kaiako, contractor, māmā – and now she can add NZ Exercise Award winner to that bundle.

  • 22 November 2023

    Wānanga Youth Services programme empowering rangatahi in the Waikato

    a voluntary programme offered by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in parts of the Waikato region to tautoko (support) eligible rangatahi (youth) that are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) or are eligible for the Youth Payment or Young Parent Payment.

  • 09 November 2023

    Waka ama, culture, and community in Masterton

    This weekend, Masterton will welcome waka ama teams affiliated to Hoe Tonga for the Regional Sprint Championship.

  • 31 October 2023

    Finding her place within toi Māori

    Being able to connect multiple aspects of her personality has opened many doors for Ōtautahi raranga tauira, Ngaio Cowell.